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Name: Rights of Parents

The Court of Appeal agreed with appellant (mother) that substantial evidence did not support the juvenile court’s order requiring father’s visitations with the children to be monitored. Although neither parent objected to the order, the court did not reject appellant’s contention on forfeiture grounds or for lack of standing because the argument had merit and touched upon her fundamental interest in her children’s management and care.

Because the petition to declare the children dependents of the court only regarded mother’s parenting, whether father placed the children at risk of harm was not directly at issue in the juvenile court proceedings, and the juvenile court made no finding regarding that question. The record contained no evidence father’s behavior around the children was inappropriate or in any way created a risk of harm.

The order necessarily restricted visitation to times when a monitor is available. This would interfere with the family’s housing, as mother and father made plans for the family to live together. Furthermore, it would impede the duration and quantity of father’s interactions with the children and potentially create an environment during those interactions where father’s ability to bond with the children is unnecessarily constrained due to the presence of a formal supervisor.

The juvenile court’s order requiring father’s visits with the children to be monitored was vacated.