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Name: In re Xavier R.
Case #: F062682
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/16/2011

Juvenile court properly terminated grandmother’s probate guardianship of the minors even after reunification services had been ordered. The minors were removed from their legal guardian, the paternal grandmother. At disposition, the guardian was ordered reunification services. Several months later, the Department filed a motion to terminate grandmother’s Probate Code guardianship pursuant to section 728, as well as a 388 petition to change grandmother’s visitation orders. The juvenile court granted the motions and grandmother appealed the termination of her guardianship. She contended that the juvenile court did not have the authority to terminate the guardianship once it ordered reunification services unless it first terminated her services by way of a section 388 petition. She also argued that there was insufficient evidence that termination of the guardianship was in the minors’ best interests. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Section 728 authorizes the juvenile court to terminate a guardianship at any stage of the dependency proceeding, even after reunification services have been ordered. It also held that there was sufficient evidence that grandmother was unable to control the minors who had severe mental and emotional problems, and termination of the guardianship was in their best interests.