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Name: Tonya M. v. Superior Court
Case #: S149248
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 12/20/2007
Summary

In determining whether there is a reasonable likelihood of reunification, the trial court need only look to the amount of time remaining before the next scheduled review hearing. Due to a delay of the six-month review hearing, it was held only three months before the scheduled 12-month review hearing. The trial court found little likelihood that the minor would be returned to mother during the three months remaining before the twelve-month review date, and terminated services. The appellate court denied relief. The California Supreme Court granted review to determine whether at the six month review hearing, the court should consider the likelihood of reunification during the six months after the hearing or the likelihood of reunification in such time as remains until the twelve-month review hearing. The Court affirmed the opinion of the appellate court, holding that a parent is not entitled to a six-month period after the six-month review hearing, but only the remaining time until the 12-month review. The trial court here properly considered the likelihood of reunification during the three months remaining until the twelve-month review hearing. This interpretation is the most consistent with the Legislature’s intent in enacting the statutory time periods as well as provides a faster resolution for the child.