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Name: In re J.S.
Case #: E067122
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/05/2017

Reversal was required where the juvenile court refused to allow mother's testimony at the 366.26 hearing about the minor's relationship with his siblings. During mother's testimony at a 366.26 hearing, mother's counsel asked her if she had any other children. Mother responded that she did, and counsel for CFS objected on the basis of relevance. Mother's counsel explained that the minor at issue had a relationship with the maternal family, including his full siblings. The juvenile court stated that the only relevant relationship was the one between the minor and parents, and curtailed the testimony. …

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Name: In re Alayah J.
Case #: B275728
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/08/2017

Juvenile court erred when it conditioned mother's 388 hearing upon non-termination of parental rights, but the error was harmless. Prior to the 366.26 hearing, mother filed a section 388 petition requesting unmonitored visits and placement. The juvenile court granted her a hearing, to be held the same date as the section 366.26 hearing, but noted that the hearing would only be held if mother's parental rights were not terminated. The juvenile court terminated mother's parental rights and did not consider her section 388 petition. The appellate court found the juvenile court erred by conditioning the hearing…

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Name: In re Grace P. et al.
Case #: B275689
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/10/2017

Juvenile court erred by denying father a contested hearing on beneficial parent-child relationship exception to termination of parental rights. Throughout the dependency case, father visited the minors regularly and had positive visits. The minors said they missed father, and the foster parent, who monitored the visits, reported to the Agency that the children were bonded to father. At a 366.26 hearing, father requested a contested hearing to determine the applicability of the beneficial parent-child relationship exception to the termination of parental rights. He made an offer of proof regarding the regular visits and his bond with…

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Name: In re Breanna S.
Case #: B275340
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 02/14/2017

Juvenile court properly rejected parent-child relationship exception to termination of parental rights where mother only sporadically visited children and there was no evidence of a positive, significant, parental relationship. Mother appealed the order terminating her parental rights to the two minor children, contending that the juvenile court erred when it held that mother failed to establish the parent-child relationship exception. The appellate court disagreed. There was ample evidence mother visited the minors only sporadically during the first 18 months of the proceedings. Although her visits became more regular during the final six months before the 366.26…

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Name: In re Logan B.
Case #: B270252
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/03/2016

To establish a benefit to continuing parental relationship exception a parent must prove that the benefit outweighs the child's interest in the stability and permanence of adoption. Mother appealed the order terminating her parental rights to the minor, contending that the trial court erred in rejecting her argument pursuant to section 366.26, subdivision (c)(1)(B)(1) that the minor would benefit sufficiently from continuing his relationship with her. Mother argued that the trial court improperly required her to prove a "compelling" reason why termination of her parental rights would be detrimental to the minor. Mother contended that establishing the circumstances identified in…

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Name: In re A.J.
Case #: E061153
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/04/2015

Juvenile court properly denied visitation to father who was not a presumed parent and where the evidence was sufficient to support a detriment finding. Appellant, the biological father of the minor child in the dependency proceeding, was denied supervised visitation at the 366.26 hearing based on a finding of detriment. On appeal, father argued that the juvenile court erred when it denied him visitation because there was insufficient evidence of detriment. The Department argued that there was sufficient evidence of detriment, but that because father was a mere biological father, he was not presumptively entitled to visitation upon the establishment…

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Name: In re Anthony B.
Case #: D067577
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/12/2015

Juvenile court properly found that beneficial relationship exception did not apply where father had sporadic visits and did not have any prospects of providing a home for the minor within a reasonable time. Following termination of his parental rights pursuant to section 366.26, father appealed, contending that the court erred in finding that the parent-child beneficial relationship exception was inapplicable. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The court applied the substantial evidence standard of review to the factual issue of the existence of a beneficial parental relationship, and the abuse of discretion standard to the determination…

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Name: In re H.G. et al.
Case #: B255712
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 02/24/2015

Reversal of parental rights termination was required where juvenile court failed to apply heightened requirements of the ICWA prior to termination. From the beginning of dependency proceedings, the Department and the juvenile court believed that ICWA did not apply because the minors were Eskimo and the court erroneously ruled that Eskimos do not qualify as Indians. (See 25 U.S.C. 479.) On appeal from the parental rights termination, new evidence was taken on appeal showing that the minors had been enrolled in the Noorvik Native Community, a federally recognized tribe, and thus were Indian children under the ICWA. …

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Name: In re R.T.
Case #: A140144
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/09/2015

Reversal was required where the agency and the juvenile court ignored the statutory mandate to consider relatives in determining placement. The minor was born testing positive for drugs to parents with a history of drug abuse, domestic violence, and a failure to reunify with another son. Over the parents' objection the minor was placed with a non-related extended family member, Victoria. Two paternal aunts requested custody of the minor, but were never considered by the Department. The parents were denied services, and a section 366.26 hearing was set. Without waiting for completion of the relatives' home studies, the court ordered…

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Name: In re Jayden M.
Case #: C075336
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/01/2014

Parents did not have standing to raise relative placement issue after services were terminated, and where minor was removed from relatives prior to the 366.26 hearing. The minor was originally placed with his paternal aunt and uncle following removal from his parents. Although the initial permanent plan was adoption by the paternal aunt and uncle, the Department developed some concerns about the uncle and recommended placement with another family. The minor was removed from the aunt and uncle prior to the 366.26 hearing. The juvenile court selected a permanent plan of adoption. On appeal, the parents contended that the court…

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