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Name: In re Matthew C.
Case #: A147877
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/17/2016
Summary

Parental visitation may be denied if visitation would be inconsistent with the physical or emotional well-being of the child. Mother challenged the juvenile court’s orders at disposition which temporarily denied her visitation with the infant minor. She argued there was no evidence that monitored visitation would be inconsistent with the minor’s well-being, and that the absence of visitation would negatively impact her ability to forge a bond with the minor. The court noted the split of authority as to whether section 362.1 mandates visitation absent evidence of a threat to the minor’s physical safety, or whether courts may deny visitation based on a threat to the minor’s emotional well-being. The court agreed with the Third District’s decision in In re T.M. (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 1214, holding that parental visitation may be denied during the reunification period if such visitation would be inconsistent with the physical or emotional well-being of the child. Turning to the facts, the court upheld the order suspending visitation. Mother showed no willingness to engage in services. She was drinking and failed to maintain contact with the social worker. She left a mental health program to reunite with the father, with whom she had a domestic violence history. Also, there was concern that mother had inflicted burns and bite marks on the minor. Under the circumstances, it was reasonable for the court to require some progress from mother on her issues before reintroducing her into the life of her traumatized son.