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Name: In re K.L.
Case #: D061577
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/25/2012

A juvenile court may terminate services for a minor who has turned 18 prior to the review hearing. After an investigation revealed that the 17-year-old minor, K.L., who was developmentally at the level of a 9 to 11-year-old child, had been sexually abused in her father’s care, the juvenile court removed K.L. from her parents. A year later, K.L. turned 18. At a 12-month review hearing, the juvenile court denied return of K.L. to her parents and terminated reunification services. Mother argued on appeal that K.L. was a nonminor dependent at the time of the 12-month review hearing and that the court erred by making findings regarding mother’s progress in services. She contended that the findings could prejudice her in the future should she be involved in another dependency case. The appellate court rejected the contention that K.L. qualified as a nonminor dependent at the time of the 12-month review hearing, or that the court should not have held the review hearing because K.L. had turned 18. K.L. did not qualify as a nonminor dependent because she was not yet participating in a transitional independent living case plan. Mother also argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the order terminating services, and that services should have been continued another six months. The appellate court held that services were properly terminated. A dependent child who has turned 18 cannot be returned to the physical custody of a parent because the parent cannot have custody of an adult.