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Name: In re S.O.
Case #: E073131
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/04/2020
Summary

A joint recommendation report under section 241.1 was not required where minor’s dual status under sections 300 and 602 was modified to dismiss dependency jurisdiction. Since July of 2016, S.O. had been subject to dual jurisdiction under both Welfare and Institutions Code sections 300 and 602. DCFS was designated as the lead agency. In June 2019, the juvenile court dismissed the dependency proceedings, effectively modifying jurisdiction from dual status to single. S.O. appealed, contending that the court abused its discretion in modifying jurisdiction without obtaining a section 241.1 dual status report and thus failing to make “a reasoned determination” of S.O.’s best interests. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed the orders. In April 2019, San Bernardino County ended the dual status/lead agency system and became a single status county. Therefore, dual jurisdiction over S.O. was prohibited and a report under section 241.1 was not necessary. In the cases cited by S.O., the report was required at the inception of dual status jurisdiction. The language of the statute does not require a report where the court modifies jurisdiction. Even assuming a joint recommendation report was required, the record does not support S.O.’s assumption that the probation department failed to participate or offer its independent assessment of the criteria. Further, S.O. could not be returned to his parents, and his status as a sex offender made placement in a foster home not feasible. His permanent plan is to transition into independent living. There was no reason to continue dependency jurisdiction, and therefore no requirement that the juvenile court make the findings required under section 241.1 in support of its ruling.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/E073131.PDF