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Name: In re Yolanda L.
Case #: B271130
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 01/24/2017

Dependency jurisdiction was upheld where father was engaged in methamphetamine trafficking and kept a loaded gun in a closet accessible to the minors. Minors were detained when father was arrested for methamphetamine possession, and officers discovered a loaded handgun in a hall closet. Minors were released to mother, who did not know about the drug trafficking, and believed father when he told her the gun was unloaded and in a lock box. Father contended on appeal that the jurisdiction order was not supported by sufficient evidence. He pointed out the methamphetamine was never in the house (it was found in his car) and the gun had been removed from the house at the time of the jurisdiction hearing, five months later. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that both the methamphetamine trafficking and the neglectful storage of a gun, which was accessible to children, provided substantial evidence from which the juvenile court could infer that the conduct was likely to recur and put the children at substantial risk of harm. Section 300(b) jurisdiction may be based on evidence that a parent stored a loaded gun in such a manner that it could be accessed by a child. The court also held that the juvenile court properly removed the minors only from father and allowed them to remain with mother. There was substantial evidence that mother was unaware of father’s negligent conduct and was committed to doing what was necessary to protect the children from father in the future.