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Name: In re S.S.
Case #: E074852
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/02/2020

The juvenile court may not terminate parental rights based on problems arising from a parent's poverty. The minor was detained from her mother based on mother's substance abuse and mental health issues. After the child was detained, father came forward but could not take custody of his daughter because his housing, transportation, and employment were not stable. No allegations were sustained against father. Family reunification services were ordered for both parents. At the six-month review hearing, the court terminated both parents' reunification services. Father filed a section 388 petition stating that he had gained employment and housing but the court…

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Name: In re D.N.
Case #: B302910
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/27/2020

Where father's failure to reunify with the minor was due solely to poverty, the juvenile court abused its discretion by denying father additional time to secure stable housing. Minor was detained from his mother in 2013 due to mother's substance abuse. When father was located, he sought custody, but did not have stable housing. Father received reunification services, but despite "sincere efforts" he continued to have challenges with housing and transportation. Father had a good relationship with the minor, who wanted to live with him. Minor, who was a teenager, was failing in group and foster placements. The Department recommended…

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Name: Serena M. v. Fresno County Superior Court
Case #: F080612
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/30/2020

Denial of mother's requests for therapeutic supervised visitation with teenager who refused to visit constituted a denial of reasonable services. The 15-year-old minor, C.C. was removed from mother due to excessive discipline by mother and mother's boyfriend. Reunification services were ordered, but the minor refused to visit mother or have any contact with her. The juvenile court encouraged the minor to visit, and ordered a supervised exchange of letters and gifts. The minor continued to refuse to visit mother, but enjoyed the letters and gifts. She did not send anything back to her mother. Mother's…

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Name: In re K.T.
Case #: B301285
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/29/2020

Court abused its discretion by ordering father who had custody of infant minor to take a parenting course where there was no evidence that it was necessary to protect the minor. Father had been involved in prior dependency proceedings in 2015. He reunified with, and was awarded custody of his three youngest children. During that dependency, he participated in a parenting education class. In 2019, DCFS received a referral that mother and the newborn minor, K.T., were living at a shelter and mother was using drugs. Mother identified father as the father of K.T. Two weeks…

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Name: In re M.R. et al.
Case #: F079971
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/29/2020

Inclusion of "follow all recommendations" language in mother's case plan was harmless error. Mother challenged the "follow all recommendations" language in her reunification plan's services section, arguing that the language fails to satisfy section 16501.1, subdivision (g)(2). The appellate court agreed. Section 16501.1, subdivision (g)(2) requires that case plans identify specific goals and the appropriateness of the planned services in meeting those goals. The case plan ordered for mother here included specific programs as well as "any other services that might be recommended in the future" by the clinicians providing those services. The case plan did not…

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Name: In re B.E. et al.
Case #: G058062
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/23/2020

Passive resistance to treatment such as a relapse does not satisfy subdivision (b)(13). Parents had an extensive history of drug abuse, treatments, and relapses. The current dependency proceeding was not their first dependency proceeding. They reunified with the minors in January of 2018, but later relapsed. Both parents voluntarily enrolled in residential treatment, completed the program, and relapsed again. Throughout the ensuing dependency proceedings, parents had positive tests and relapses. However, parents participated in all services recommended by the social worker, including therapy, drug treatment, NA meetings, parenting classes, and meeting with a sponsor.…

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Name: M.G. et al. v. Superior Court
Case #: G058611
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/16/2020

Juvenile court order terminating reunification services and setting a 366.26 hearing was reversed where there was no evidence to support a conclusion that there was a risk to the minors if returned to their parents. Minors were removed from parents because father was incarcerated and mother was using drugs, was homeless, and had exposed the minors to domestic violence. The minors were removed, and reunification services were ordered. By the 12-month review hearing, both parents had made moderate progress, and the court continued reunification services and expanded visitation. The Department recommended termination of services at the…

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Name: In re I.A.
Case #: E071757
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/18/2019

The juvenile court erred when it ordered reunification services for parents who had already failed to reunify. The minors were removed in the third dependency action in three years. In the first case, the two minors (I and Is) were removed from mother and placed with father. In the second case, the I and Is were removed from father, and placed with mother. In this case, the minors and a third sibling (A.A.) were removed from mother for the same reasons as previously. The Department recommended to bypass reunification services pursuant to section 361.5(b)(10). …

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Name: In re A.E.
Case #: E070578
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/21/2009

Court abused its discretion by ordering reunification services where there was no evidence that services would be in minors' best interest. The six minors, who were adopted by mother and father, were detained after one of the minors, A.E., was seen at a hospital for a skull fracture. The minors said that mother had disciplined A.E. by throwing him at a wall. The minors said that they were disciplined by being thrown at the walls or on the floor, and that parents spanked them with a wooden spoon or hit them. Section 300(a) and (j) petitions were…

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Name: In re M.F.
Case #: D074260
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/11/2019

Juvenile court did not err by extending services past the 18-month review hearing date for a minor under three where the Agency did not provide reasonable services. At a 12-month review hearing, the juvenile court found that reasonable services had not been provided to father, and ordered the Agency to extend the reunification period for an additional six-month period, setting the 18-month review hearing more than 23 months after the two-year-old minor first entered foster care. The minor appealed, challenging the reasonable services finding, and contending that the juvenile court lacked the authority to order continued services beyond the…

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