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Name: In re Jorge C.
Case #: B201604
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/19/2008

The juvenile court had temporary emergency jurisdiction over a Mexican minor abandoned in Los Angeles, but reversal was required for insufficient notice to parents in Mexico. Jorge was detained and placed in foster care after the department received information that his parents were in prison in Mexico, there were no other family members willing to care for him, and he knew no one in the United States. At a jurisdiction hearing, counsel for the parents argued for dismissal of the petition because the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction over Jorge since his legal residence was not in the United States. The appellate court disagreed, concluding that the juvenile court had temporary emergency subject matter jurisdiction under Family Code section 3424, subdivision (a), because Jorge was a minor and abandoned within the meaning of the statute. However, reversal of the jurisdiction and disposition orders was required because the parents were not properly served. The Hague Service Convention applies to juvenile dependency cases. Service of process by ordinary mail does not perfect service in Mexico. The defective service rendered the subsequent proceedings void, even if the party had actual notice.