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In Re Sierra W. et al., Persons Coming v. Frank A

December 29, 2010

IN RE SIERRA W. ET AL., PERSONS COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SOLANO COUNTY HEALTH AND HUMAN
SERVICES DEPARTMENT,
v.
FRANK A., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Solano County Plaintiff and Respondent, Super. Ct. Nos. J37979, J37980)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jones, P.J.

In re Sierra W.

CA1/5

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Frank A. (father) challenges the termination of parental rights as to his daughter, Sierra W., and his son, B.W. (collectively, children). (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 366.26.)*fn1 He contends the juvenile court erred by failing to apply the beneficial relationship and sibling exceptions to termination of parental rights. (§§ 366.26, subds. (c)(1)(B)(i), (c)(1)(B)(v).) We affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This case has an extensive history. We summarize the facts only as germane to father's claims on appeal.

B.was born in September 2006 and Sierra was born a year later, in September 2007. In October 2007, the Solano County Health and Human Services Department (Department) filed a nondetaining section 300 petition on behalf of the children alleging that: (1) Sierra tested positive for methamphetamines when she was born; (2) mother had unaddressed mental heath and substance abuse problems; and (3) mother and father have a "volatile relationship that has resulted in law enforcement responding to . . . a domestic disturbance call." At a disposition hearing in January 2008, the court declared the children dependents.

In March 2008, the Department filed a section 387 petition alleging that father's arrest for methamphetamine possession, his positive methamphetamine test, and the unsanitary condition of the parents' home were putting the children at risk. The court detained the children. At a disposition hearing on the section 387 petition in May 2008, the court determined returning the children to their parents' custody would create a substantial risk of detriment to the children's safety, protection, and physical and emotional well-being. The court ordered reunification services and supervised visitation.

In a status review report filed in August 2008, the Department reported that it had provided father with visits twice a week but his attendance had been "sporadic."*fn2 When father did attend visits, however, he was affectionate and attentive. He brought his two children from a previous marriage, Cody and Miranda, to visits "a couple times a month." At the six-month review hearing, the court determined that returning the children to mother and father's custody would be contrary to the children's welfare. The court continued reunification services for both parents and set a 12-month review hearing.

The Department's 12-month review report filed in March 2009 recommended terminating reunification services for father and setting a section 366.26 hearing (.26 hearing). From September 2008 to March 2009, father had attended only 21 of 41 visits, was between 10 and 45 minutes late to eight of those visits, and was "not overly interactive" with the children during the visits. In an addendum report, the Department noted it had reduced father's visitation from twice a week to once a week because he missed at least one visit per week. At the conclusion of the 12-month review hearing in June 2009, the court terminated reunification services and set a .26 hearing for October 2009.

In its initial .26 report filed in September 2009, the Department recommended terminating parental rights because father had "failed to complete [his] case plan[ ]" and had failed to "reunify with [his] children. . . ." Since July 14, 2009, father attended all of his scheduled monthly supervised visits with the children, but arrived late to many of the visits. Father also brought junk food to some visits and tried to play with the children while he was "trying to interact with all the adults in the room."

According to the report, the children had been in the same foster home for 10 months and were "very connected to their foster parents" and had "grown to depend on their foster parents to meet their needs." The Department opined that the relationship between the children and mother and father "is not significant to the point it would outweigh the benefit for B.and Sierra of growing up in a safe and stable home. . . . [ΒΆ] Termination of parental rights would not be detrimental to ...


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