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Name: J.M. v. Superior Court (Ventura County)
Case #: B237797
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 03/28/2012
Subsequent History: opn. mod. on 4/25/2012
Summary

Juvenile court properly bypassed services where mother’s criminal negligence led to the death of her child. The juvenile court sustained section 300 (b), (f), and (g) dependency petitions alleging that the minors were at risk of abuse or neglect due to mother’s drug abuse and criminal behavior. Also, it alleged that a sibling of the minors had died from acute oxycodone intoxication in the home. The court removed the minors, bypassed reunification services, and set a 366.26 hearing. In her writ petition, mother argued that the abuse or neglect contemplated by section 300(f) as well as section 361.5, subdivision (b)(4), must rise to the degree of culpability encompassed within the concept of criminal negligence. The appellate court declined to resolve the negligence argument because the juvenile court’s jurisdiction ruling was supported by compelling evidence that satisfied even the higher standard of neglect and causation. Mother lived in a “drug house” and permitted a drug seller to provide her with a stolen prescription of oxycodone that was accessible to the minors. Mother’s conduct was a substantial factor causing the minor to ingest multiple pills of dangerous narcotics that led to his death.