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Name: Melinda K. v. Superior Court
Case #: B168139
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/16/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 6/23/04

In this appeal mother challenged the juvenile court’s order made at the six month review hearing, which concluded that reasonable services had been provided. The appellate court held that the order was not appealable but must be challenged by way of a writ. (However, since the time had passed for the filing of a writ, the court deemed the appeal a writ, and reached the merits.) Mother was not aggrieved by the finding that reasonable services were provided, given that services were continued for another six months, and no negative consequence flowed from the finding. The court held that if mother had contested the failure to return the child because she had not availed herself of services, when she contended that she had not been provided services, the conclusion would have been different. Here, the court took no adverse action against mother on the basis of its finding. To the contrary, the court found that mother had been in compliance and progressing, and the order was favorable, continuing services for six more months. A reasonable services finding, by itself, is not appealable. Reaching the merits of the case, the appellate court found that substantial evidence supported the juvenile court’s finding that reasonable services had been offered. The delay in providing counseling rendered the services imperfect, but reasonable under the circumstances.