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In Re J. S. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. R. V

March 11, 2011


(Super. Ct. Nos. JD230540, JD230541)

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

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

R. V., the mother of four-year-old J. S. and six-year-old K. V., appeals from a disposition order of the Sacramento County Juvenile Court adjudging the children dependents of the court, removing them from mother's custody, and denying mother reunification services.

On appeal, mother contends the evidence was insufficient to support the jurisdiction orders, the disposition orders removing the children from her custody, and the bypass of reunification services. We shall affirm the judgment.


A 1999 Dependency Of Half Sibling

In December 1999, Child Protective Services (CPS) received a referral alleging general neglect and caretaker incapacity regarding then three-day-old S. V., the half sibling of J. S. and K. V. The referral alleged that mother and S. V.'s father had developmental disabilities and that both had admitted that they were "neither ready nor capable of raising a child." The referral was substantiated.

The present jurisdiction/disposition report describes the December 1999 referral as follows: "A CPS referral for neglect . . . states the mother is moderately mentally retarded (IQ range of 46-60) with a seizure disorder that is not under control. . . . Hospital staff believes mother needs 24-hour monitoring with the child, or the child should not live with the mother because of her mental limitations. . . . [T]he mother was told that she needs to feed the baby every 3 hours. The mother was then asked, if the baby was fed at 8:00 a.m., when would the next feeding be? The mother's response was 2:00 p.m. Disposition: Substantiated."

On December 17, 1999, the Department of Health and Human Services (department) filed a petition alleging the half sibling came within juvenile court jurisdiction pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code*fn1 section 300, subdivision (b). The petition alleged in relevant part: "b-1. The child's mother, [R. V.], is unable to provide regular care, supervision, protection, and the basic needs of the child due to her developmental disability, in that [she] is moderately mentally retarded with an I.Q. range of 46-60. In addition, she has a seizure disorder which is not under control. [¶] . . . [¶] b-3. The child's mother, [R. V.], and alleged father, [F. B.], have a history of domestic violence which have [sic] included incidents that required law enforcement to respond to their residence. These incidents occurred while the child's mother was pregnant."

In early 2000, the juvenile court sustained the petition and declared S. V. a dependent child of the court. In October 2000, mother's reunification services were terminated because she had failed to make substantial progress in her case plan. In April 2001, mother's parental rights to S. V. were terminated.

B Prior Incidents Involving The Present Children

In November 2006, a law enforcement officer brought mother to a mental health treatment center because she was having hallucinations of her two-year-old child stabbing her two-month-old baby. The treatment center petitioned for an extended stay because mother was gravely disabled. Four days later, CPS received a referral for general neglect and caretaker incapacity. The referral included allegations against the children's father, who is not a party to this appeal. CPS disposed of the referral as "unfounded," but there is no indication that this resulted from any infirmity in the treatment center's assessment of mother.

On October 20, 2009, CPS received a referral alleging sexual abuse of J. S., who was then age three. The allegation appears to have been based on an injury to the back of J. S.'s head, which mother and father had explained in somewhat different ways. The reporter stated she was unable to ask J. S. what had happened, because J. S. cannot communicate due to language delays. The disposition of this referral is "unknown."

The social worker's review of school records showed that on this same date, K. V. was "suspended [from school] for saying, the 'f' word 20 times in a 15 minute period . . . 26 times in a 30 minute period." K. V. also asked his teacher several times, "'won't you fuck me[?]'"

On October 29, 2009, CPS received a referral regarding neglect and sexual abuse from a reporter who was changing K. V.'s diaper. CPS disposed of the referral as "unfounded."

C Present Incident

During a counseling session on January 27, 2010, K. V. rapidly pulled down his diaper, got on his back, raised his feet nearly to his ears, spread his bottom, and asked his mother and therapist, "'you want fuck my butt[?]'" The next day, CPS received a referral alleging general neglect and failure to protect.

On February 9, 2010, father informed a social worker that "'he thinks' he and the mother knew who could have 'hurt' the children." On February 11, 2010, the department placed the children in a protective emergency placement. Five days later, the children's foster parent witnessed J. S. on top of K. V. and heard them "making noises as if they were engaging in a sexual act." Early the next month, the foster parent observed J. S. kissing K. V. on the mouth in an inappropriate manner.

D Original Petitions

In March 2010, the department filed original dependency petitions for both children alleging failure to protect (§ 300, subd. (b)), sexual abuse (§ 300, subd. (d)), and abuse of sibling (§ 300, subd. (j)). At an initial hearing in ...

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