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Name: In re S.A.
Case #: D055148
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/15/2010

Father had no standing to raise competency of minor’s counsel. Father appealed the jurisdictional order declaring his minor daughter a dependent pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 300(d). He contended that reversal was required because minor’s counsel rendered ineffective assistance by not interviewing the minor’s therapist, who believed the minor was lying about her father having molested her. The appellate court held that father did not have standing to raise the issue. Further, father’s argument lacked merit because the record shows that minor’s counsel knew the therapist’s opinion because it was included in the reports. Sufficient evidence supported jurisdiction order where minor’s testimony was not inherently improbable. Father also challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support the petition because the minor’s testimony was inherently improbable. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the evidence supported the court’s order. The juvenile court found the minor’s testimony credible, and her testimony was sufficient to uphold the judgment. Other evidence also corroborated the minor’s reports of sexual molestation. None of the facts raised by father rendered the minor’s testimony inherently improbable. They did not show any physical impossibility, apparent falsity, or outlandishness. Conflicts and inconsistencies in the testimony were matters for the trial court and will not be re-weighed on appeal.