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Name: In re Q.D.
Case #: G038343
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/18/2007

Where 366.26 hearing was trailed to the next day, mother’s appeal was not from a final order, and appeal was dismissed. Mother waived her right to a contested hearing on parental rights termination, but immediately protested when the court terminated her parental rights, arguing that her waiver was invalid because she misunderstood the concepts of adoption and foster care in the Vietnamese language. The juvenile court trailed the matter to the next day for the purpose of allowing the parties to do research. When the court reconvened, it concluded that the minute order entered the previous day terminating parental rights deprived the court of jurisdiction to modify the order. On appeal, mother argued that she was denied due process because the court did not have a contested hearing on the issue of termination. The appellate court dismissed the appeal and remanded the matter to the trial court for further proceedings. The court’s minute order from the first day of the hearing concluded with the statement that the hearing was trailed for a 366.26 hearing. Therefore, the court’s order cannot be interpreted as a formal order which concluded the hearing, and the appeal was premature. Remand was required to determine whether to or not to reopen and allow mother to contest the termination of her parental rights.