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Name: In re Priscilla D.
Case #: F069317
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/04/2015

Legal guardianship can be terminated upon motion of a parent under Welfare and Institutions Code section 388. The juvenile court ordered the three minors into a guardianship with relatives and terminated jurisdiction following a dependency proceeding. Two years later, mother filed a section 388 petition asking the juvenile court to change its orders because she had been free of substance abuse, had a permanent and safe home for the minors, and had liberal visitation including weekends and school breaks. The minors also wanted to return to mother and be reunited as a family. Following a hearing on the 388 petition, the court held that it did not have the authority to terminate a guardianship following the termination of dependency jurisdiction. It denied the 388 petition on legal grounds, and made no findings concerning the factual support of the petition. Mother appealed, contending that the juvenile court erred in ruling her section 388 petition was not the proper vehicle to change its order placing the children in a guardianship. The appellate court agreed and reversed. When a juvenile court dismisses dependency jurisdiction following the establishment of a kinship guardianship, it still maintains jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the guardianship. It can therefore vacate its order establishing the guardianship. Section 388 includes the right of a parent to petition the court to terminate guardianship.