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Name: In re Aubrey T.
Case #: B296810
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 03/23/2020

Termination of father's parental rights under Family Code Section 7822 was reversed where there was insufficient evidence that he intended to abandon the minor. Anthony was the biological father of Aubrey, who was born in 2011. He had been in an on-again-off-again relationship with mother for four years. He lived with mother during the pregnancy, but mother moved out just prior to the birth to live with great grandparents. Anthony was present at the birth but was not named as the child's father on the birth certificate. Mother and Aubrey subsequently moved in with Anthony…

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Name: In re H.D.
Case #: E070576
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/08/2019

Where mother let father have custody of minors while she worked on her substance abuse problems, there was insufficient evidence that she intended to abandon the minors within the meaning of the statute, and parental rights termination was reversed. Mother and father were married for three years and had two daughters together. After they divorced, the court awarded primary custody to mother with visits to father. Father remarried, and the girls lived with father and stepmother for a month while mother participated in alcohol treatment. Mother and father agreed to a shared custody arrangement thereafter. …

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Name: In re D.H.
Case #: E066818
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/22/2017

Juvenile court must make a finding of unfitness or detriment before terminating father's rights to minor who was in a probate guardianship with grandparents at the time of the dependency action. The minor was in a probate guardianship with his paternal grandparents when the Department filed a dependency petition due to the grandparents' substance abuse and neglect. Grandparents failed to reunify and a 366.26 hearing was set. Father's whereabouts were unknown throughout the proceedings, but he appeared for the 366.26 hearing. The Department recommended termination of the guardianship, and termination of father's parental rights, freeing the…

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Name: In re A.B.
Case #: D069257
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/24/2016

Father's parental rights were properly terminated where he made only token efforts to see the minor for a three-year period. Father appealed from an order terminating his parental rights to the minor under Family Code section 7822. He contended that the one-year period of abandonment referenced in section 7822, subdivision (a)(3) refers solely to the year immediately preceding the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights. The appellate court rejected that argument. Father also contended that even if the one-year period can occur at any time prior to the filing of the petition, he rebutted any presumption that he…

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Name: In re Z.F.
Case #: C076664
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/15/2016

Where juvenile court terminates a probate guardianship, the best interest of the minor finding need only be made by a preponderance of evidence. Maternal grandmother's probate guardianship of the minor was terminated due to neglect of the minor, following a failure of reunification. On appeal, grandmother argued that the juvenile court was required to articulate the applicable standard of proof when it found that termination of the probate guardianship was in the best interest of the minor. The appellate court ordered supplemental briefing on the appropriate standard of proof. Both parties argued that the applicable standard is clear and convincing…

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Name: Adoption of K.C.
Case #: B265157
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 06/10/2016

The UCCJEA does not apply to adoptions, and therefore failure to comply with its terms did not void parental rights termination under Family Code section 7822. Mother and her husband petitioned for a stepparent adoption of the minor, requesting the court terminate father's parental rights under Family Code section 7822. The trial court granted the petition. On appeal, father contended that the trial court lacked jurisdiction because it failed to comply with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the UCCJEA does not apply to adoptions. Father relied on…

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Name: Imperial County v. S.S.
Case #: D068026
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/10/2009

The juvenile court properly terminated jurisdiction when the dependency minor died. The minor was removed from her mother's care and placed with foster parents. A month later, the child died while in the foster parents' custody. The Department informed the court that investigations were ongoing regarding the circumstances of the minor's death. Four months later, the Department filed a request to terminate jurisdiction. Minor's counsel requested that a GAL be appointed to investigate potential civil claims on the child's behalf. The Department opposed the appointment, arguing that the court's authority to appoint a GAL was premised on the need to…

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Name: Adoption of I.M.
Case #: B255038
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 12/05/2014

The trial court properly ordered the stepfather's adoption of the minor to proceed in nonconsenting father's absence. Stepfather filed a petition requesting an order freeing the minor, I.M., from her father's custody and control so that he could adopt her. Father was incarcerated and had not had contact with the minor since 2006. Father opposed the motion and filed a motion under Penal Code section 2625 to be transported to the hearing. Father was not present for the hearing but had communicated with opposing counsel regarding his inability to be present and his understanding that the matter had…

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Name: In re E.M.
Case #: D064955
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/05/2014

Juvenile court properly denied mother's Family Code section 7822 petition where there was insufficient evidence of father's intent to abandon the minors. Appellant, Sarah, and Christopher M. had three minor children together before they separated, in large part due to Christopher's drug use. Sarah moved into James's home and subsequently married him. The children saw Christopher on weekends. In 2012, Sarah filed for divorce and Christopher agreed to give sole custody of the children to Sarah, subject to liberal visitation by Christopher. Sarah and James then married. Christopher moved to modify the custody orders, and Sarah subsequently filed a…

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Name: A.H. v. Superior Court
Case #: A137236
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 09/25/2013

A juvenile court may terminate pre-dependency probate guardianship where it is in the best interest of the minors. Paternal grandmother was appointed guardian of a sibling group in probate court more than five years before the dependency proceedings. The Agency initiated dependency proceedings based on physical abuse of the older minors by grandmother. The younger two minors filed a petition to terminate grandmother's probate guardianship, and also a petition pursuant to section 388 to change their placement from grandmother to an aunt and uncle. Grandmother appealed, and also filed a writ petition challenging the juvenile court's order setting a permanency…

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