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Name: In re Wilford J., Jr.
Case #: B178480
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 07/28/2005

Father received a generic notice of a hearing regarding the petition filed on behalf of his three sons. It informed him of his right to be present, but did not advise him that the hearing was a settlement conference and omitted any description of the nature of the proceedings. Father did not appear, and the juvenile court found the petition true in his absence. On appeal from the disposition, father argued that the juvenile court violated his right to adequate notice. The appellate court agreed, holding that converting a settlement conference into an unscheduled jurisdictional hearing, absent waivers from the parties or counsel, deprives the parents of due process. However, because father appeared at subsequent hearings and did not object to the earlier lack of notice, he forfeited the issue on appeal.