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Name: In re Isaiah S.
Case #: D069928
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/10/2017

Mother lacked standing to raise relative placement issue at parental rights termination hearing. The minor, Isaiah was the subject of a juvenile dependency action based on his exposure to violence in the home. He was placed in foster care in the same home with three younger siblings, and his foster family wished to adopt them. Maternal relatives also wanted to adopt the minors, though appellant mother originally opposed this placement. Mother stopped visiting and lost touch with the Department. Maternal relatives expressed a desire to adopt the minor, and had visited him multiple times. Their homes…

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Name: In re Isabella G.
Case #: D068718
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/18/2016

Juvenile court erred when it failed to consider relative placement preference under section 361.3. The minor, Isabella, lived with her paternal grandparents off and on prior to her removal from her parents. Despite repeated requests by the grandparents for placement of Isabella following her detention, the Department did not evaluate their home, instead placing her with a nonrelative extended family member (NREFM). Eventually, the grandparents filed a 388 petition requesting a change in placement. It was clear that Isabella was bonded to her grandmother, but also was becoming bonded to the NREFM. The juvenile court denied the 388 petition,…

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Name: In re Bianca S.
Case #: D068942
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/02/2015

Juvenile court erred by ordering dependent teens who committed minor property offenses detained at juvenile hall where social workers had been unable to find suitable placements for them. Two 13-year-old girls were dependents of the juvenile court (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 300) and were residing at Polinski Center pending placement when they knocked over a vending machine and took items from it. They were arrested and booked into juvenile hall. The district attorney filed juvenile delinquency petitions alleging petty theft and vandalism and asked that the minors be declared wards. The probation officer recommended the minors be detained in…

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Name: In re Liam L.
Case #: D067729
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/30/2015

Father's failure to file a 388 petition requesting placement of the minors under section 361.2 was harmless, and the juvenile court properly found no evidence of detriment before placing the minors with him. The minors were placed with the previously noncustodial presumed father at the 12-month review hearing. Mother appealed the placement order, contending that the evidence did not support the court's finding that the minors' placement with father would not be detrimental under section 361.2, subdivision (a). The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. First, although father failed to file a 388 petition, which is required for…

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Name: In re K.B.
Case #: E061803
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/24/2015

Juvenile court did not err by placing minor with previously noncustodial father where there was no showing that the minor would suffer emotional harm by being separated from maternal family. Mother appealed from the order placing her youngest son with the previously noncustodial biological father, who lived out of state. Mother argued that the court erred in finding that placing the minor with father was not detrimental to his emotional well-being under section 361.2, subdivision (a). Mother contended that the minor's relationship with his maternal family, especially his older brother, was so strong that he would suffer emotional harm if…

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Name: In re Joshua A.
Case #: D067498
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/05/2015

Mother's boyfriend qualified as a nonrelative extended family member (NREFM) for purposes of placement of minor, but juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to consider him for placement. When the minor was removed from mother at a disposition hearing, mother identified her boyfriend, Luis, as a potential placement. The court denied placement with Luis, finding that under section 361.3, subdivision (c)(2), Luis did not meet the description of a NREFM because the term "parent" was not included in the definition of a relative. Further, Luis was not entitled to NREFM status because he did not have…

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Name: A.M. v. Superior Court
Case #: E062316
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/08/2015

Juvenile court's specific placement order following termination of parental rights was not an appealable order. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 366.28.) The minor was born with serious birth defects and became a dependent of the juvenile court since his birth in 2007. His original permanent plan was placement at a health care facility with a goal of adoption. In 2010, the Department identified a potential placement and petitioned to change his permanent plan to adoption. The juvenile court terminated parental rights and authorized the Department to place the minor for adoption. The minor appealed. Result: the order was not appealable.…

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Name: In re J.C.
Case #: B255676
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 01/14/2015

Removal of minor was proper where father did not take steps to curb pregnant mother's drug use. The juvenile court sustained a petition over infant J.C. because the minor was born with methamphetamine in his system and mother had a long history of substance abuse. The petition also alleged that father failed to protect J.C. from mother's drug abuse. The court placed the minor in foster care, and ordered reunification services for father. The court declined to place the minor with father based on father and mother's previous history with the Department which included incidents of domestic violence, drug use,…

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Name: In re C.M.
Case #: B255629
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 01/13/2015

Reversal was required where there was insufficient evidence of detriment shown by placing the minor with her previously noncustodial father. Robert M., the noncustodial and nonoffending father of the minor, appealed from the juvenile court's order placing the minor with the maternal grandparents following mother's incarceration. The juvenile court denied father's request for placement with him, citing the fact that the minor had never lived with father and wanted to stay with her grandparents. Father challenged the dispositional order because the detriment finding was not expressly made pursuant to section 361.2, subdivision (a) or under the clear and convincing standard,…

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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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