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Name: In re M.V.
Case #: A112525
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/16/2007

The minor was placed with his foster parents following removal from his parents, and his foster mother was made a de facto parent. After 16 months in that placement, the juvenile court granted a 388 petition filed by the Department to modify the placement because the minor had either been scratched or bitten on the face by the family dog. On appeal, the foster parents argued that the appellate court should reverse the granting of the 388 motion because the juvenile court never specified the standard of proof it applied. They contended that the court should have used the clear and convincing evidence standard, while the Department contended the proper standard was preponderance of the evidence. Further, the foster parents contended that under either standard, the juvenile court abused its discretion by granting the Department’s motion. The appellate court granted the writ, finding that the lower court’s findings were inadequate, and it was unclear whether the court considered the best interests of the child. The trial court was ordered to hold any hearing that is necessary and make the appropriate findings, including addressing the foster parents’ assertion that the dog was removed from the home, as well as the minor’s current circumstances.