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Name: In re S.D.
Case #: G029893
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/27/2002
Subsequent History: None
Summary

When S.D.’s mother was incarcerated and his father fled the area to avoid arrest, the Social Services Agency detained him even though two maternal aunts appeared and offered to care for him. At the jurisdictional hearing the mother’s attorney conceded jurisdiction under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300, subdivision (g) (child left without provision for support). S.D. was quickly placed with a maternal aunt living in Missouri and remained there through the dependency proceedings that concluded with a termination hearing under Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26. In an appeal from termination the mother argued there was insufficient evidence to support dependency proceedings because she was able to make arrangements for S.D.’s care while she was incarcerated. The appellate court agreed, finding the mother received ineffective assistance of counsel when her attorney ceded jurisdiction to SSA, that the issue had not been waived by the mother because she received ineffective assistance of counsel and, notwithstanding the holding in In re Meranda P. (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 1143 which would not permit raising an ineffective assistance of counsel issue at this stage of the proceedings, under the facts in this case, deciding the issue would promote fundamental fairness. The appellate court reversed the termination order and remanded to the trial court to determine if under current circumstances a petition under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300, subdivision (g) can be plead and proven.