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In Re D. W. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. H. L

March 2, 2011


(Super. Ct. Nos. 10JD5037, 10JD5038)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robie ,j.

In re D.W. CA3


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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

H. L., mother of minors D. W. and T. W., appeals from the juvenile court's dispositional order removing D. W. from mother's custody. (The court also removed T. W. from mother's custody, but she does not appeal from that order.) Mother contends there is no substantial evidence of a "substantial danger to [D. W.]'s physical health, safety, protection, or emotional well-being" in her custody. (Welf. & Inst. Code,*fn1 § 361, subd. (c)(1).) We disagree and affirm.


On June 17, 2010, the Calaveras Works and Human Services Agency (agency) filed section 300 petitions as to D. W. (a 12-year-old female, whose father is J. W.) and T. W. (a five-year-old male, whose father is S. W.) alleging: between October 2005 and June 14, 2010, the agency had received five referrals on behalf of the minors, alleging physical abuse and general neglect; two were determined to be substantiated as to mother.

On or about March 19, 2007, the agency received a police report of recent domestic violence between mother and her "significant other," both alleged to have used methamphetamine. Mother, who admitted to using methamphetamine three days before the police interview, was very fidgety, extremely thin, and covered with open sores. She said her "significant other" had punched her in the face and kicked her and D. W. out of the house. D. W., upset and crying, said she had seen mother's boyfriend hit and push mother several times. Mother was incarcerated as a result of this referral because she had a warrant out of Nevada for domestic violence.

On or about August 2, 2007, the maternal grandmother (who had a criminal record dating back to 2005 for driving under the influence, vandalism, and willful cruelty to a child) applied for temporary guardianship of D. W. and T. W. The grandmother received permanent guardianship of both minors on October 2, 2007. The guardianship of D. W. was terminated on September 11, 2009, but the guardianship of T. W. remained in effect.

On or about June 10, 2010, a sheriff's deputy responded to a domestic disturbance between mother and the grandmother. According to mother, the minors were residing with the grandmother, but the grandmother was intoxicated after drinking all morning. They argued, and the grandmother tried to hit her, with D. W. watching. After driving away, the grandmother was soon stopped and arrested for driving under the influence. The minors remained temporarily in mother's care.

On or about June 14, 2010, the agency received another referral alleging physical abuse and general neglect of the minors. A sheriff's deputy interviewed the grandmother, who said mother was still using methamphetamine. About four days earlier, when mother and her "significant other" (Da. W.) came to visit T. W., Da. W. threw T. W. into a wall, causing him to hit his head; mother said if the grandmother called law enforcement about it, she "would be dead."*fn2

Interviewed by the deputy, T. W. said mother and the grandmother had arranged for him to live with the grandmother, who secretly drank whiskey at night. He also said Da. W. "'hurts me a lot and throws me around'"; "'at my grandma's house [Da. W.] threw me into the wall because he thought I had his sunglasses and I hit my head by my ear.'" T. W. told the same story about Da. W.'s behavior to a social worker, adding that Da. W. was not playing when he threw T. W. around and laughed when T. W. got hurt.

Also on or about June 14, 2010, the deputy observed signs of methamphetamine use by mother, specifically "rapid animated arm movements and rapid speech," "a very slender appearance" and "open sores on her face."

On the same date, mother told a social worker that Da. W. had not physically abused T. W. and she was not using drugs. According to mother, the grandmother, who had a major drinking problem, was harassing her. Mother refused to provide a urine sample for drug testing without a court order. She said her face was breaking out because she was nervous. According to mother, though the grandmother had temporary custody of the minors in 2007, mother had had custody of them ever since; T. W.'s father had never had physical custody of him. On or about the same date, the sheriff's deputy placed the minors into protective custody.

On or about June 15, 2010, mother called the social worker, "very agitated and . . . yelling." Speaking very quickly, she said she had never tested positive for drugs and had only had boyfriends that used drugs. She hung up on the social worker without letting her speak.

On or about the same date, the grandmother told the social worker that she had tried to "relinquish" D. W. back to mother, since mother was receiving welfare money for the children. The grandmother also said she knew she had to address her drinking problem.

On June 18, 2010, at the detention hearing, D. W. indicated through counsel that she wanted to return to mother's custody, but the minors' counsel opposed that request. ...

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