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Name: In re Julien H.
Case #: B267953
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/04/2016
Summary

The court’s reliance on section 361, subdivision (c) to remove the minor from a noncustodial parent was harmless error. The minor, Julien, lived with his mother and had weekend visits with father. The parents were neither married nor lived together. Following an anonymous report concerning mother, DCFS went to her home. Mother denied the allegations in the report but told the social worker that father abused drugs and alcohol and had mental health issues. DCFS advised mother to go to family court and modify the visitation order to allow only monitored visits for father. Mother failed to do so. DCFS then obtained an order to remove the minor from father pending a detention hearing. It also filed a petition alleging father’s substance abuse and mental health issues, and mother’s failure to protect Julien from father. Following the jurisdiction/disposition hearing, the court declared Julien a dependent, released him to his mother, and ordered family maintenance for her. It ordered removal of Julien from his father pursuant to section 361, subdivision (c). Enhanced services were ordered for father with monitored visits. On appeal, father contended that the order limiting access to Julien had to be reversed because the court had no authority to impose restrictions on his parental rights. The appellate court found that the juvenile court could not remove Julien under section 361, subdivision (c) because Julien was not residing with him when the petition was filed. However, father failed to show that the court’s reliance on section 361, subdivision (c) was prejudicial, as the court had the authority to limit father’s access to the minor.