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Name: In re Jonathan C.M.
Case #: A165931
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/18/2023

The juvenile court erred when it terminated transition jurisdiction over nonminor without considering his best interests. The nonminor suffered from autism, ADHD, and other mental health and developmental conditions and suffered a chaotic childhood characterized by neglect, abuse, and homelessness. While he was already a dependent of the juvenile court, he was committed to a Youthful Offender Treatment Program in juvenile hall. The nonminor was eligible for AB12 services upon release, and when wardship was terminated the court continued jurisdiction over him as a nonminor dependent. Nonminor struggled to maintain compliance with the program, refusing to tell probation where he…

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Name: In re C.P. (2023) 91 Cal.App.5th 145
Case #: E078696
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/05/2023

If the persons the minor is placed with have resource family approval, they are eligible to adopt the child in their care without an additional adoption home study. The minor was removed from his mother and placed with the maternal grandparents (MGPs). During the resource family approval process, a background check revealed that grandfather had a 1991 misdemeanor conviction for a disqualifying offense which had previously been dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. The Agency denied the MGPs application because of grandfather’s conviction. MGPs successfully appealed the juvenile court’s order denying their request that the Agency reassess their…

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Name: In re E.W. (2023) 91 Cal.App.5th 314
Case #: A165789; A165933
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/08/2023

The Agency fulfilled its initial inquiry duties under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) when it interviewed two relatives, but neglected to interview other available relatives. The detention report following the minor’s removal noted that Mother claimed Blackfoot and Cherokee ancestry. Father denied Native American ancestry. Mother later reported that her DNA test showed no Native American ancestry. The Agency inquired with a maternal aunt and paternal grandmother, who both denied Native American ancestry. Additional relatives attended the jurisdiction and disposition hearing, but were not questioned about Indian heritage. At the jurisdiction and disposition hearing, the allegations were found true…

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Name: In re I.E.
Case #: E080223
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/17/2023

Termination of parental rights was proper, despite a loving and meaningful relationship between parent and child, where the minor expressed her desire to be adopted. The four-year-old minor was removed from her mother due to domestic violence and substance abuse. After 12 months of services, Mother continued to have positive drug tests and arrived to visitations with visible injuries. The minor said that she wanted to remain connected to Mother, but did not want to return to her custody because Mother was still in a domestic violence relationship. At the section 366.26 hearing, the juvenile court found the minor adoptable,…

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Name: In re Damian L.
Case #: F083805
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/11/2023

Juvenile court erred in ordering additional services to Mother at the section 387 disposition hearing because she had already received over 24 months of services. The minors were taken into custody and Family Maintenance (FM) services were ordered for Mother. Following a positive drug test by Mother, the minors were removed and placed with maternal grandmother. Family Reunification (FR) services were ordered for Mother. A few months later, a section 387 petition was filed to remove the minors from maternal grandmother. At the combined section 387 disposition/24-month review hearing, the juvenile court found that the reunification timeline does not run…

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Name: In re Robert F.
Case #: E080073
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/12/2023

The initial ICWA inquiry requirements of section 224.2, subdivision (b) do not apply when a minor is removed pursuant to a warrant under section 340. The Agency sought and received a protective custody warrant for minor due to concern that Father was physically and sexually abusing the minor. After a failed attempt at reunification, parental rights were terminated, which Mother appealed. The Court of Appeal affirmed, finding that section 224.2, subdivision (b) does not apply when a minor is taken into custody pursuant to a warrant under section 340. The plain language of section 224.2, subdivision (b), which states “[i]f…

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Name: Michael G. v. Superior Court (2023) 14 Cal.5th 609
Case #: S271809
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 04/06/2023

A parent who has not received reasonable services during the 12-18 month review period may seek an extension of services beyond 18 months, but such extensions are not automatic. The minor was removed from Father and a dependency petition was sustained. The juvenile court found that reasonable services had been provided at the 6 and 12-month review hearings and extended services to an 18-month review hearing. At the 18-month review hearing, the juvenile court found that reasonable services had not been provided, but declined to order additional reunification services, and set the matter for a permanency hearing. Father filed a…

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Name: In re S.S.
Case #: B318794
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 04/14/2023

Tribes are a real party in interest who are prejudiced by the Agency’s failure to conduct an adequate initial ICWA inquiry. The minor was removed from his parents and placed with maternal relatives who wished to adopt them. The Agency followed up after receiving information that Mother may have Indian heritage, but did not question three paternal relatives, for whom they had contact information, about possible Indian heritage. Following the termination of parental rights, Mother appealed and the Court of Appeal reversed the ICWA findings. Tribes are real parties in interest and the Agency’s failure to conduct an adequate initial…

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Name: In re L.C.
Case #: B322778
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 04/18/2023

The juvenile court erred by failing to determine if it had jurisdiction over the minors under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The minors were removed from Mother and a dependency action initiated. The whereabouts of the minors’ respective fathers remained unknown throughout the proceedings. Both of the minors were born in Texas, where Mother claimed she had recently fled to escape an abusive relationship. Mother told the Agency she had previously lived in Florida and Arizona and mentioned a prior child welfare case involving the minors in Texas, but assured the Agency that the case had…

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Name: In re L.J.
Case #: C096775
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/23/2023

The juvenile court properly excluded recordings made by Mother during visitations with the minor because minor’s counsel did not consent to the recordings and the evidence was cumulative. The minor was removed from Mother due to her substance abuse. Mother engaged in treatment and the minor was placed in her care under a plan of family maintenance. A few months later, the minor was again removed from Mother after she relapsed and participated in domestic violence. The juvenile court declined to order further reunification services and set a selection and implementation hearing. At this hearing, Mother argued the beneficial relationship…

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