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Name: In re Jesse S.
Case #: G054169
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/07/2017

Nonminor could not reenter foster care system under section 388.1 where his adoptive parents were still receiving payments from California’s Adoption Assistance Program. About four months before his twentieth birthday, appellant Jesse filed a request under section 388.1 to return to juvenile court jurisdiction and foster care. His adoptive parents were no longer supporting him even though they were receiving payments on his behalf from California’s Adoption Assistance Program (AAP). The judge denied Jesse’s request, noting that under the literal language of section 388.1, he could not reenter the dependency system when his parents were receiving AAP payments. The appellate court reluctantly affirmed, holding that section 388.1 specifies a nonminor between 18 and 21 is eligible for reentry into the foster care system only if his adoptive parents no longer provide ongoing support and also no longer collect AAP benefits on his behalf. Therefore Jesse was not eligible under that section. Although the Legislature may not have intended this result, the result is not so anomalous to invoke the common law absurdity rule to delete what the Legislature included when it drafted section 388.1. It is up to the Legislature to fix the problem if this is not what was intended.