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In Re B.C., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. R.P

May 14, 2012

IN RE B.C., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
R.P., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, D.L. Losnick, Judge. (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. CK78154)

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

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Reversed and remanded with directions.

R.P., the alleged father of B.C., appeals an ordergranting his request for paternity testing but requiring him to pay for the testing. We conclude that, because R.P. appeared in the dependency proceedings and filed a Statement Regarding Parentage (JV-505) in which he requested a determination of biological paternity, the juvenile court was obliged to make that determination, whether by genetic testing or otherwise. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 316.2; Cal. Rules of Court, rule 5.635.)*fn1 We therefore reverse the juvenile court's order and remand for a determination of biological paternity.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGOUND

1. Detention of B.C.

In July of 2009, the Department of Children and Family Services (the Department) took eight-year-old B.C. into protective custody after mother left him with a friend without making arrangements for the child's care. Mother identified R.P. as B.C.'s father but said R.P. had never been a part B.C.'s life and she had no information regarding R.P.'s whereabouts or date of birth.

At the detention hearing, the juvenile court ordered B.C. detained in foster care and declared R.P. his alleged father. Mother submitted a Paternity Questionnaire in which she stated she lived with R.P. at the time of B.C.'s conception but she did not know how to contact him.

A declaration of due diligence filed August 25, 2009, indicated the Department had been unable to locate R.P.

In the jurisdiction report filed August 25, 2009, mother's friend stated mother has indicated that B.C. was conceived as a result of a one night stand.

On September 30, 2009, the juvenile court sustained the allegations of a dependency petition, declared B.C. a dependent child and ordered him placed in foster care.*fn2 The juvenile court ordered no family reunification services for R.P., "an alleged father only," under section 361.5, subdivision (b)(1).

2. Mother fails to reunify; family reunification services are terminated.

On April 1, 2010, the social worker reported mother was not complying with the case plan and she had been difficult to contact. The Department filed a declaration of due diligence dated March 30, 2010, detailing another unsuccessful search for R.P.

The Department reported that, on November 20, 2009, B.C. was placed with Mr. F., a middle school teacher who had an approved home study. Mr. F. was providing B.C. a stable home, was meeting his emotional, medical and physical needs on a consistent basis, ...


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