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In re JUAN E. III et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. JUAN E.

November 30, 2010

IN RE JUAN E. III ET AL., PERSONS COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SAN DIEGO COUNTY HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JUAN E., JR., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Garry G. Haehnle, Judge. Affirmed. (Super. Ct. No. SJ12180A-B)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: O'rourke, J.

In re Juan E.

CA4/1

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Juan E., Jr., (Father)*fn1 appeals an order from the six-month review hearing granting him an additional six months of reunification services under Welfare and Institutions Code*fn2 section 366.21, subdivision (g)(1) and (2).

Father challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support the court's findings that reasonable services had been provided to him. He further argues the court erred by applying a preponderance of the evidence standard of proof instead of requiring clear and convincing evidence when finding that Father received reasonable services. We affirm the order.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Two-year-old Juan III (Juan) and three-month-old Ricardo (together, the minors) came to the attention of the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (Agency) after Ricardo was found to have sustained fractures to both of his legs. In June 2009, the Agency filed petitions on behalf of the minors under section 300, subdivisions (a) and (j) alleging that Ricardo had suffered the fractures to his legs nonaccidentally. The court held a detention hearing and both minors were detained in out-of-home care.

In a jurisdiction and disposition report, the Agency recommended offering reunification services to Father. Father stated he may have accidentally caused Ricardo's injuries when he fell on the infant. According to medical reports, however, the fracture was acute in nature and the injuries to the lower right leg appeared to have " 'a little more pull and twist' " feature to the fracture.

In July 2009, the Agency filed amended petitions on behalf of the minors under section 300, subdivisions (e) and (j). Dr. Premi Suresh, a child abuse expert, stated that the injuries were " 'most likely' " caused by physical abuse. The Agency noted that it was considering recommending the denial of reunification services under section 361.5, subdivision (b)(5).

The court held a jurisdiction hearing and sustained the allegations against Father. The court ordered that Father receive supervised visitation and services.

In November 2009, the court held a hearing to address Father's visitation schedule. Social worker Adriana Gutierrez reported she planned to modify Father's visitation scheduled to accommodate his new work schedule. The court continued the hearing in order to allow time to implement the new schedule and for the Agency to provide copies of Juan's reunification case plan. By December 2009, Father stated the visitation issues were resolved and that he would sign the new case plan. In addition to visits, the case plan included services such as learning how to address children with special needs, counseling sessions and parenting education.

Father later requested conjoint services with Juan and developmental classes with Ricardo. The Agency agreed that Father could participate in services with the minors as long as the caregiver also participated. In addition to these services, Father participated in individual therapy sessions with therapist David Najera. The ...


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