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In Re J.W., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. S.W

January 13, 2012

IN RE J.W., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
S.W., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. JD230134)

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

In re J.W.

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

S.W., father of minor J.W., appeals from the juvenile court's orders after disposition. He contends the juvenile court erred by assuming jurisdiction over the minor in the absence of substantial evidence the minor was at risk of abuse or neglect. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

The relevant facts in this case begin at the end of 2005, when minor J.W.'s sibling, R.W., was born in Hawaii. R.W. was brought to the hospital when she was 10 days old with sensational bruising to her face. Mother was not home at the time of the injury. Father claimed R.W. had rolled off the bed, and he caught her by the face as she was falling. The family was provided voluntary case management services as a result of the incident.

When R.W. was three months old, she was found to have bruising on both ears. The parents claimed she had either fallen off the couch or had pinched her own ears. R.W. was later found to have 20 rib fractures and a fractured femur, and was taken into protective custody. The parents provided no explanation for her injuries, which medical experts concluded were caused by squeezing of the thorax between the first and eleventh weeks of R.W.'s life.

The family received more than 25 months of services and were deemed "treatment failures." There was minimal participation by the parents, and mother stated she was not engaging in services because she was "too busy." In January 2008 the parental rights as to R.W. were terminated because of the parents' failure to make any progress in their case plan to reunify with the child. Minor J.W. was born not long after and immediately taken into protective custody.

On November 26, 2008, J.W. was returned to his parents' custody under a plan of supervision. The parents' home was considered "minimally safe with services in place." The parents left Hawaii in December 2008 but did not contact anyone for services until after San Diego County social workers began visiting several months later. They claimed services were difficult because of mother's periods of absence occasioned by her position in the military. Father stated he would engage in services when mother returned.

In May 2009 eye hemorrhaging was discovered during a well child medical visit. An ophthalmologist reported that a possible abnormality of the blood vessels had caused the hemorrhaging. Meanwhile, on June 30, 2009, San Diego County rejected the ICPC*fn1 request for courtesy supervision because of the "liability" and high risk for the child in the home. Mother was deployed as part of her military service, and on August 4, 2009, Hawaii closed its case file due to limitations of services and compliance, and an assessment that the family was able to maintain "a marginally safe home."

The hemorrhaging in the minor's eyes continued to be investigated. Two weeks after Hawaii closed its case file, a bump was discovered on J.W.'s head during an eye appointment. At a medical appointment a few days after that, on August 20, 2009, the doctor noted petechiae on J.W.'s forehead. Told by father that J.W. had fallen, the doctor remarked that the injury "looked strange because it consisted of a bunch of little red dots and not bruising." Father stated it was because the minor fell on the carpet and claimed the minor fell a lot. J.W. was noted to be very sedate for an 18-month-old child.

Also on August 20, 2009, a medical expert ruled out the possibility of a genetic disorder as the cause of J.W.'s eye hemorrhaging, but could not rule out abuse as the hemorrhaging was of a kind not normal for nonaccidental trauma. The following day, a skeletal survey revealed a minimally displaced fracture of the radial head of the minor's left arm. A medical expert indicated the fracture was consistent with nonaccidental or inflicted trauma. Two medical experts found it could have been ...


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