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In Re H.V. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. E.V

June 13, 2012

IN RE H.V. ET AL., PERSONS COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. PLACER COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
E.V., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. Nos. 53-003042, 53-003043)

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

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

E.V., the father of seven-year-old H.V. and 11-year-old N.V., appeals from orders of the Placer County Juvenile Court terminating dependency status and awarding sole legal and physical custody to C.V., their mother.

On appeal, father contends the award of sole legal custody to mother must be reversed because it was based, not on the best interest of the children, but on the speculative possibility that shared legal custody would result in continuous litigation in family court. We affirm the order.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Originating Circumstances

Mother and father are married but separated. On May 19, 2010, father arrived at the garage of mother's residence, punched her in the back of the head, knocked her down, evidently apologized, but then opened his fly and urinated on her. When mother got up, father approached her, put his hands around her neck, moved his hands to her mouth so that she could not breathe, and forced her back onto the floor. Father tied up mother with duct tape and taped her mouth closed. While he was doing this, father stated that he would take her for a drive and would slit the throats of mother and her boyfriend. Father purportedly assured mother that their children would be taken care of. Mother "pushed up" and managed to get into the house where the children were located. Father left the residence but returned five to 10 minutes later.

The children asked mother why she was crying and shaking. Father addressed the children, stating, "'Okay, you two, Mom's a whore! Mom's a slut. She sleeps around.'" When H.V. asked, "'Mommy, why'd you do that?,'" father said, "'I should just kill the fucking bitch.'" H.V. cried and screamed, "'Daddy, No!'" Father said words to the effect of, "'You guys won't have much longer with . . . .'" Father fled the scene.

Mother suffered bruises on her back and leg, a swollen left knee, pain at the front of her throat, and difficulty swallowing.

Father told a social worker that he had gone to mother's residence and had found her boyfriend at the house doing laundry. Mother and the boyfriend were drinking in the garage while the children were inside. Father threatened the boyfriend before assaulting mother.

On a previous occasion in August 2009, father had pushed mother down onto a bed frame and had threatened to shoot the entire family.

In a separate incident, Rocklin Police had arrested father for assaulting an animal control officer.

Petition

The Placer County Department of Health and Human Services (Department) filed a petition alleging the children came within the provisions of Welfare and Institutions Code section 300, subdivisions (b), (c), and (i), in that they had been exposed to numerous acts of domestic violence including father's recent assault and threat to kill mother; the children were suffering or at risk of suffering serious emotional damage; and the children were exposed to, and not protected from, one or more acts of cruelty by a parent.*fn1

Detention

At a detention hearing in May 2010, the juvenile court found that a prima facie case had been established and made the appropriate findings and orders. The children were placed with ...


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