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In Re L.B. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. L.B. et al

January 21, 2011

IN RE L.B. ET AL., PERSONS COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW.
SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
L.B. ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS.



Super. Ct. Nos. JD229532, JD229533, JD229534, JD229535, JD229936

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

In re L.B. CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

L.B., Sr. (father) and B.B. (mother) appeal from the juvenile court's jurisdictional and dispositional orders removing minors L.B., Jr., C.B., J.B., K.B., and P.B. from their custody and offering reunification services. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 395 [all further undesignated statutory references are to the Welf. & Inst. Code].) They contend: (1) The court failed to make the findings required for removal by clear and convincing evidence. (2) There is no substantial evidence the minors are at risk of harm in their custody. (3) The court failed to consider alternatives to removal. We shall affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND The Minors' Detention

On April 8, 2009, the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (Department) filed section 300 petitions as to L.B., Jr. (born in June 2008), C.B. (born in June 2007), K.B. (born in November 2003), and J.B. (K.B.'s twin), alleging:

1. When seen at the University of California, Davis CAARE Center on April 6, 2009, three of the minors had diseases (K.B.--"Hand-Foot Mouth Disease" and oral candidiasis; L.B., Jr.--moderately severe candidiasis/diaper rash; C.B.--"Hand-Foot Mouth Disease") and all had poor hygiene. The parents' home was filthy and lacked food.

2. On or about April 4, 2009, with mother and the minors present, father brandished a weapon and threatened to harm an unidentified individual. Father was subsequently arrested and charged criminally.*fn1

The detention report added:

Father threatened the landlord's grandson, who was allegedly "harassing" mother about the rent. Mother denied that the home or the minors were filthy. Mother denied domestic violence, then admitted it happened "maybe once a month." Mother denied that either parent had substance abuse problems. Mother was six months pregnant and had had only two prenatal care appointments to date.

On April 13, 2009, the juvenile court ordered the minors detained.

The Jurisdiction/Disposition Report

The jurisdiction/disposition report, filed May 1, 2009, recommended out-of-home placement with reunification services for the parents. According to the report, the minors would be at high risk of abuse or neglect in the parents' home because of father's drug use and associations, mother's difficulty with processing information and parenting four small children, and both parents' difficulty with planning and decision making.

Mother was pregnant and due to deliver in July. She denied substance abuse and mental health problems, and had no criminal history. She did not know why she was placed in special education classes in high school.

Mother said that all the minors had gone to the doctor in January 2009 and were found healthy; L.B., Jr., had gone back in March 2009 for immunizations and found to have an ear infection. In April 2009 K.B. had a sore mouth and tongue, was not eating properly, and could not swallow the Motrin mother tried to give her; mother did not take her to the doctor then because she lacked transportation and thought she could cure the problem herself. She had been treating L.B., Jr.'s diaper rash and it was getting much better. C.B. did not appear to be sick.

According to mother, the home was always clean. It was short of food when the minors were detained because someone stole her EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card just as she was about to shop.

In the report filed May 1, 2009, mother was reported to have said that the landlord's grandson, who lived in mother and father's home, had told her that "her thirty days were up and she needed to move out of the home." That day, father came home from the hospital with his arm in a sling. He told the landlord's grandson to stop talking to mother; the grandson asked father to "take it outside," then attacked him. Father pulled out a gun and pointed it at the floor. Mother did not know where he got it, or why he had been beaten up and admitted to the hospital that day.

Mother did not know father was using drugs. Periodically, after the minors were asleep, father would tell her without explanation that he was ...


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