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Name: In re Quentin H.
Case #: B253816
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 10/14/2014

Remand was required where the juvenile court erroneously relied solely on the presumption that father previously convicted of sex abuse 20 years ago presented a danger to his children. Father was convicted in 1987 of sexual abuse of a child under 14. The juvenile court relied on the presumption created by Welfare and Institutions Code section 355.1 to find that father posed a substantial risk of harm to the minor. On appeal, father contended that the juvenile court erred in basing its jurisdiction findings solely on the section 355.1 presumption of risk. The appellate court agreed that father had adequately rebutted the presumption with evidence contained in the Department’s own reports, including statements from his children that he had not behaved inappropriately with any child in his care, and the fact that he had not reoffended in more than 20 years. The juvenile court erroneously relied on the presumption to sustain the petition, mistakenly believing no contrary evidence had been presented. This was error, and remand was required for the juvenile court to weigh the evidence.