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Name: In re Joshua S.
Case #: B170343
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 08/15/2005

The juvenile court terminated jurisdiction over two minors who were placed with their grandmother on an Indian Reserve in Canada. In a prior appeal, the appellate court found that it had been an abuse of discretion to terminate jurisdiction without considering whether termination was in the minors’ best interest. It remanded for consideration of that issue, including whether grandmother could provide for the minors without financial assistance and whether financial assistance was available from Canadian or California sources. On remand, the juvenile court again terminated jurisdiction, finding that it was in the minors’ best interest to live with grandmother and that the court had no authority to order the department to provide financial assistance to the minors while they lived in Canada. The minors appealed, arguing that the court should not have terminated jurisdiction. The appellate court again reversed. The minors fit the criteria for AFDC eligibility because they were removed under a judicial determination, were deprived of parental support, and were placed with a relative. The fact that the relative lived in Canada did not render them ineligible. It was therefore an abuse of discretion to terminate jurisdiction due to a mistaken belief that funding was unavailable without a better inquiry into the children’s best interests.