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In Re E. J., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. C. J

October 24, 2011


(Super. Ct. No. 10JVSQ2847601)

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

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

C.J. (appellant), the father of E.J. (the minor born in 1993), appeals from juvenile court orders adjudging the minor a dependent child and placing her in the custody of the Department of Social Services (DSS). He contends the juvenile court failed to make an express finding that visitation would be detrimental to the minor, and that insufficient evidence supports the juvenile court's no contact order. We disagree.

Appellant further contends the juvenile court improperly delegated to DSS the power to determine whether visitation would occur. We disagree, but conclude the dispositional order requires clarification that there is to be no contact between appellant and the minor -- with or without the approval of DSS.


1. Family History

In December 1992, when the minor's mother (V.K.) was three months pregnant with the minor, appellant sexually molested V.K.'s eight-year-old niece. When law enforcement arrived to arrest appellant, he resisted and a violent struggle ensued. Appellant was arrested but when the victim refused to cooperate with the investigation, the charges were dropped.

In 1995, appellant was charged with infliction of corporal punishment upon a spouse or cohabitant. In 1997, appellant was arrested for committing battery, and in 1998, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and being drunk in public.

In August 1999, a friend of the minor's disclosed that appellant had sexually molested her (the friend). Law enforcement told V.K. not to allow appellant to have contact with the minor during the investigation. V.K. ignored their directive and allowed appellant to see the minor "whenever he wanted." V.K. said the minor was "odd," and V.K. refused to believe the allegation of abuse.

Soon after the minor's friend reported the abuse, appellant, intoxicated, broke into the friend's home. Appellant attempted to dissuade the family from pressing charges for sexual abuse. The friend's mother sprayed appellant with pepper spray and called the police. Appellant was arrested for disturbing the peace, being drunk and disorderly, trespassing, and drunk in public.

In January 2000, the counselor with whom the family was working due to a prior referral to DSS, contacted DSS because appellant "was not cooperating with the counseling, and [the minor] (age 6) was reporting things that were concerning regarding sexual abuse by [appellant]." V.K. was "reprimanded for allowing [the minor] to be in contact with [appellant] while he was drinking and the family was referred back to the counselor to continue with therapy."

Three months later, appellant was awarded temporary sole custody of the minor after the minor disclosed that she was sexually abused by a male cousin who was living with the minor and her mother. Appellant then accused V.K. of sexually abusing the minor. Those allegations were deemed "inconclusive." Shortly thereafter, appellant and the minor moved to Washington state.

Several referrals were made to the "Washington State DSHS" alleging sexual and physical abuse of the minor. DSS could not find dispositions for many of those referrals, investigation into some of the referrals were stopped without explanation, and others were deemed inconclusive.

The minor returned to the attention of DSS in Shasta County in 2008. Fifteen years old and diagnosed with "mild mental retardation," the minor disclosed that appellant was drunk and she did not feel safe going home. DSS advised appellant he should not combine his medication with alcohol; appellant agreed and the referral was closed with the allegation of general neglect deemed unfounded.

In March 2009, the minor reported to her school counselor that appellant had touched her inappropriately by rubbing his hands up and down her thighs and breasts. When the minor told appellant to stop, he said: "It's my house and I can do anything I want to."

The minor also reported that appellant drinks to excess, takes prescription medications, and throws pieces of wood at her when he is angry. The minor described how appellant would become aggressive, angry, and even violent when he drank. The minor said she was afraid to go home to appellant so she went home with her ...

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