Skip to content
Name: In re A.K. (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 252
Case #: C097776
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/18/2024
Subsequent History: Ordered published 1/30/2024

Juvenile court prejudicially erred in failing to promptly inquire about parentage and in denying biological father’s 388 petitions where biological father was not properly noticed of the proceedings. Minor was removed due to Mother’s substance abuse during her pregnancy. Mother appeared at the detention hearing with an alleged father who requested DNA testing and was later determined not to be Minor’s biological father. Mother then shared that the biological father might be C.B., who took a paternity test and was determined to be Minor’s biological father. Mother was bypassed at the dispositional hearing and a section 366.26 hearing was set.…

View Full Summary
Name: In re Jayden G.
Case #: B321426
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 02/14/2023

The Agency did not exercise due diligence in its attempts to locate Father for service when it failed to follow up with unique facts more likely to yield his whereabouts. The minor and his younger sibling were removed from Mother and a petition was filed.  Mother reported that Father was in jail and had an upcoming hearing date but could not provide Father's exact date of birth. Mother also reported that paternal grandfather lived on her street. The Agency reported that Father's whereabouts were unknown and filed a declaration of due diligence which stated that it had searched Internet law…

View Full Summary
Name: In re R.A.
Case #: A161510
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/11/2021

When a Welfare and Institutions Code section 388 petition raises notice issues, a separate showing of best interests of the child is not required to warrant an evidentiary hearing. The minor came to the Agency's attention in October 2018. Father's name was listed on the section 300 petition, but his whereabouts were unknown. In subsequent reports, the Agency stated that a search was conducted for father, but the reports included no description of any search efforts. At the time of the six-month review hearing, father's whereabouts, at a California State Prison, finally became known. Father filed a section 388 petition…

View Full Summary
Name: In re J.W.-P.
Case #: A156550
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 09/08/2020

Where father was prejudiced by the trial court's failure to send statutory notice of the procedures to assert paternity, reversal of an order setting the 366.26 hearing was required. A dependency action was initiated following mother's arrest and incarceration. Mother testified in the dependency proceedings that R.P. was the minor's father, had lived with and cared for his daughter during the first two years of her life, and was subject to a child support order. R.P. also maintained his relationship with his daughter and consistently stated that he wanted custody of her. R.P. contacted the social worker and requested custody,…

View Full Summary
Name: In re Christopher L.
Case #: B305225
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/02/2020
Subsequent History: Review granted 2/17/2021 (S265910)

The court's errors in determining parentage and holding the jurisdiction/disposition hearing without appointing counsel for Father were harmless error. Minor Christopher and his older sister I.L. were detained after Christopher was born testing positive for methamphetamine. The siblings were placed with a maternal aunt who had already adopted two of Mother's other children. Mother was married to Father at the time of Christopher's birth. Father, who was incarcerated, was provided notice of the detention hearing but was not appointed counsel. The jurisdiction/disposition hearing was held in Father's absence and no counsel appeared on his behalf. The court sustained the…

View Full Summary
Name: In re S.P.
Case #: B302804
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 07/31/2020

Termination of parental rights was affirmed where failure to notice father for jurisdiction and disposition hearings was harmless error. Father was arrested for possession of controlled substances. A month later, a removal order was issued for the infant minor. Notice was sent to father's last known address. Father did not appear for the detention hearing. The juvenile court found that due diligence had not been completed as to father, and put the jurisdiction hearing over. Although there was no evidence of additional notice, at the jurisdiction hearing the court found the Department had completed…

View Full Summary
Name: In re Al.J.
Case #: B297762
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 12/24/2019

Order terminating father's parental rights was reversed following defective notice of the jurisdiction and disposition hearings and failure to appoint counsel. Appellant father was in custody of the CDCR serving a sentence for robbery. He was housed in a facility in Mississippi due to overcrowding. In April 2015 he received untimely notice of a jurisdiction and disposition hearing regarding the minors, who had been removed from mother. He promptly responded with letters to the court and social worker stating that he wished to appear. The court did not continue the hearing date or appoint counsel…

View Full Summary
Name: In re Israel T.
Case #: B286821
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 11/21/2018

Jurisdiction order reversed where juvenile court took jurisdiction under section 300, subdivision (b) but struck the words "substantial" risk and "serious" harm, and found at disposition that there was no risk to the children. Father was seen at a suspected drug purchase, which led to a traffic stop, which led to father running from the car to the family's home. Police found a large bag of marijuana in a bedroom closet and a baggie with residual amounts of suspected methamphetamine on the floor. At the jurisdiction hearing, father's adult son said the marijuana belonged to him. The court sustained a…

View Full Summary
Name: In re R.L.
Case #: D069729
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/14/2009

A brief stay in a hospital incident to birth by itself is insufficient to confer home state jurisdiction over child. Father appealed the orders terminating his parental rights, contending that all orders starting at the jurisdictional and dispositional orders had to be reversed because the juvenile court did not have home state jurisdiction under the UCCJEA. The minor was born in a hospital in San Diego County. Her mother was a United States citizen but did not have a permanent residence prior to the minor's birth. She alternated her time between Mexico and Nevada, but had been primarily…

View Full Summary
Name: In re M.M.
Case #: C075687
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/11/2015

A prospective adoptive parent is entitled to notice and a hearing prior to removal of the minor and placement with a relative. The minor was placed with appellant, the de facto parent, within a month of her birth, and had lived there 14 months at the time of the 366.26 hearing. The report prepared for the hearing noted that appellant had expressed her desire to adopt the minor and had begun the adoption homestudy. An aunt had also expressed a desire to adopt the minor, but the kinship unit had not completed the relative assessment. The report did…

View Full Summary