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In Re A.M., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. Randall M

May 21, 2012


(Super. Ct. No. 11JV SQ 2892201)

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

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Randall M., father of the minor, A.M., appeals from the jurisdictional/dispositional orders of the juvenile court. Father contends there is insufficient evidence to sustain several of the court's jurisdictional findings. We shall affirm.


On June 21, 2011, the Shasta County Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) filed a Welfare and Institutions Code section 300*fn1 petition alleging the mother had mental health problems that interfered with her ability to protect and care for the newborn minor, A.M., and father had substance abuse and anger problems that interfered with his ability to adequately protect and care for the child. The Department also alleged that the mother's three older children (father's stepchildren) were removed from her custody as a result of her failure to protect them from the ongoing physical abuse they suffered at the hands of father.

According to the petition, the mother's older children and father's older child, all reported that father was physically abusing the mother's older children. It was further alleged that father had a history of abusing the mother, including while she was pregnant with the minor, and there was a history of domestic violence between father and the mother of father's older child. Additionally, father was ordered previously to complete a 16-week anger management program and a 52-week parenting program and had been "only minimally compliant with this order."

The petition also included allegations that father had a criminal history of violent and drug-related offenses; marijuana had been found on the floor of the family home; and the mother had reported that father was "currently illegally abusing Oxycontin." Finally, the petition indicated that father agreed to a voluntary drug test the day before the petition was filed, but failed to complete the test.

At the detention hearing on June 22, 2011, both parents were present. The mother argued against detention. She said she had had no contact with father, had made provisions for the child, and was willing to co-parent with father only if he engaged in services.

Father also argued against detention. He agreed the minor should remain in the mother's custody and said he was willing to follow any safety plan put in place. Father also said he was willing to drug test and participate in "any services necessary." He also offered to "waive service" if the court wanted to issue a restraining order to prevent him from contacting the minor. The court declined to issue a restraining order.

The Department stated its belief that the mother did not see father as a danger to any of her children, including the minor. The Department believed the mother was participating in services only to keep it from taking from the mother's custody the minor and her older children.

The detention report, filed June 21, 2011, recommended the minor "be detained from her parents' care and custody pending further orders of the Court." According to the report, prior to the minor's birth, the mother had agreed she and the minor would live with the maternal great-grandmother for approximately one week and not have contact with father. After the minor was born, however, father stayed the night in the mother's hospital room. The mother also indicated she wanted to co-parent the minor with father and she did not believe father was a danger to the minor because he only abused his stepchildren.

The mother told the social worker she had "mixed feelings" about father and had no control over him. She described her relationship with father as "'confusing,'" saying he was "nice one minute and angry the next." The mother reported that she intended to seek full legal custody of the minor, but failed to serve father with the paperwork. She admitted to the social worker that she stayed in contact with father and his family. The mother also reported that "she had heard from friends that [father had] been using ...

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