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Name: In re Maya L.
Case #: B254628
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 12/08/2014
Summary

At a six-month review hearing, the juvenile court need only determine whether court-supervision is still necessary when placing the child with the non-custodial parent. Maya was declared a dependent child, removed from mother, and placed with her previously noncustodial father. At the six-month review hearing, the trial court terminated jurisdiction and entered a family law order awarding physical and legal custody of Maya to her father. On appeal, mother contended that the trial court applied the wrong legal standard and that the juvenile court was required to establish that returning Maya to her mother’s care would create a substantial risk of harm to the well-being of the child. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. At the six-month review hearing, the juvenile court was only required to determine whether its supervision was still necessary, not whether returning Maya to mother would place her at substantial risk of harm. The six-month review hearing is governed by section 366.21, subdivision (e) rather than section 364. Further, the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded custody to father. The record contained overwhelming evidence that father provided excellent care, and DCFS consistently reported it had no concerns regarding father’s ability to care for the child. Further there was evidence that mother had not yet developed the ability to co-parent effectively and that a joint custody order would not be in Maya’s best interests.