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Name: In re M.M.
Case #: B257860
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 05/12/2015
Summary

Reversal was required where juvenile court ignored mandate that parent be present for jurisdiction hearing and proceeded in her absence over objection. The minor was detained following mother’s arrest for prostitution. At the beginning of a jurisdictional hearing, mother’s counsel notified the court that mother was incarcerated and requested a continuance. The court proceeded with the hearing and adjudged the minor a dependent child. The appellate court reversed and remanded. Penal Code section 2526, subdivision (d) prohibits adjudicating a minor a dependent of the court without the physical presence of the incarcerated parent unless the parent knowingly waived his or her right to appear. Here, the court proceeded knowing that mother was incarcerated and did not waive her right to be present. The court erred in ignoring section 2526(d), and the error was not harmless because the court did not get a chance to hear mother’s oral testimony.