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Name: R.S. v. Superior Court
Case #: B199111
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 09/05/2007

The juvenile court must first determine whether noncustodial parent is seeking custody before deciding whether he is eligible for reunification services. The juvenile court removed the minors and denied father reunification services under section 361.5, subdivision (b)(10) and (11). Mother was also denied services, and a 366.26 hearing was set. Father challenged the ruling by way of writ, contending that there was insufficient evidence to support the juvenile court’s finding that he had failed to make reasonable efforts which led to the original removal. Respondent argued that 361.5 didn’t apply, because father was not a custodial parent. The appellate court agreed that 361.5 did not apply, and that 361.2 was the applicable statute, as father had never had custody of the minor. However, since the record was not clear whether father was seeking custody of the minor, the court granted the writ petition and remanded to determine that issue. Not until the juvenile court determines whether father is seeking custody will it be able to determine whether he is entitled to placement or services.