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Name: In re Justice P.
Case #: D044163
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/20/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 1/12/05

The juvenile court did not err when it denied father an evidentiary hearing on his section 388 motion to modify the court’s earlier rulings that he had been given adequate notice of the proceedings and that the Department had made reasonable search efforts to find him. Although the Department’s delay in notifying father were inexcusable, the court may still deny a section 388 petition without a hearing if the parent does not make a prima facie showing that the relief would promote the child’s best interests. Father had not seen the children for almost a year prior to the dependency proceedings, and did not contact them in the seven months between the time he was noticed and the 366.26 hearing. Further, the fact that father was incarcerated precluded a full commitment to parental responsibilities. The failure to show prejudice stemming from the delayed notice is dispositive.