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In Re D.K. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. J.R

September 13, 2011


(Super. Ct. Nos. JD228707, JD230737)

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

In re D.K.



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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Appellant, the mother of J.K. and D.K., appeals following orders made at a jurisdictional hearing as to J.K. (Super. Ct. Sacramento County, No. JD230737) and a hearing on a modification petition as to D.K. (Super. Ct. Sacramento County, No. JD228707). Appellant was denied reunification services with J.K. and granted continuing family maintenance services with D.K., the older of the two minors. Both minors were residing with their father. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 361.5, subd. (b)(13), (c), 364, 388, 395.)*fn1

Appellant acknowledges that there was a basis to deny her services with J.K., but claims the juvenile court erred by failing to exercise its discretion under section 361.5, subdivision (c), to grant her services. Discerning no abuse of discretion on the part of the juvenile court with regard to J.K., we affirm the judgment and orders in case No. JD230737. Because appellant has made no claims on appeal with regard to D.K., we dismiss the appeal in case No. JD228707.


In November 2008, a dependency petition was filed by the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) concerning newborn D.K. The petition alleged that appellant had an ongoing substance abuse problem and that she and D.K. had tested positive for amphetamine and marijuana at the time of D.K.'s birth. Appellant, age 28, initially did not deny nor confirm drug use. Shortly thereafter, she admitted she had been using methamphetamine since she was 21 years old and that her substance abuse was problematic. After D.K.'s birth, appellant said she wanted to address her addiction through treatment. The father denied any knowledge of appellant's substance abuse and wanted D.K. placed with him if appellant could not keep her. At the initial hearing, the juvenile court ordered D.K. returned to appellant, who subsequently moved in with the father.

According to a subsequent report prepared by the Department, two of appellant's other children (older half siblings of D.K. and J.K.) had been permanently removed from appellant's care in proceedings conducted in another county, and were living with the maternal grandmother. Another child, the older sibling of D.K. and J.K., tested positive at birth for marijuana and amphetamine and had been declared a dependent child of the juvenile court, also in another county. This child was in the care of the father. Appellant had received about 18 months of substance abuse treatment previously, and had been referred to 10 months of inpatient treatment; however, she left without graduating from the program. She used methamphetamine within a month of being discharged from this program.

Noting there was a basis for denying services to appellant based on her failure to reunify with three other children, the Department nonetheless recommended services for appellant because D.K. appeared to be thriving in appellant's care and bonding with her.

In January 2009, the juvenile court sustained the allegations in the petition, adjudged D.K. a dependent, and ordered D.K. placed with appellant and the father with reunification services. A little more than one week later, appellant entered a plea of no contest to a criminal violation of Health and Safety Code section 11550, subdivision (a), "Unlawfully Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance."

Appellant tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamine, and marijuana in May and June 2009. After the May results were called to appellant's attention during the June 2009 case conference, appellant initially denied use and claimed the results were a mistake. After the sample she provided in June tested positive, appellant again denied use. Eventually, she admitted using with a friend in June while the father was visiting in Texas. She also admitted the results from the May test were accurate. She then agreed to attend an intensive, four-day outpatient treatment program, and was allowed to take D.K., who would attend daycare services at the treatment center. However, appellant "continue[d] to minimize the extent of her addiction," and in July 2009, she entered a residential treatment program. At the review hearing later that month, the juvenile court ordered that D.K. was to remain placed in the home with continued services.

Less than two months later, appellant was discharged from the residential program when it was discovered that she had hidden a urine sample in a freezer and that she had paraphernalia under her bed. Thereafter, she was not compliant with treatment or testing for several months. By January 2010, however, she was engaged in a variety of services. Appellant and the father planned ...

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