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In Re J.J., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. G.J. et al

June 27, 2012

IN RE J.J., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
G.J. ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS.



(Super. Ct. No. JD231233)

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

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Appellants G.J., mother, and T.C., father of the minor J.J., appeal from the juvenile court's orders denying mother's petition for modification and terminating their parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 395, 388, 366.26.)*fn1 Mother contends the juvenile court abused its discretion in denying her petition for modification, and improper limits on visitation compromised the order terminating her parental rights. Father joins in mother's brief. We shall affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In January 2011, mother arranged to leave the one-year-old minor (born January 2010) at the South Sacramento Crisis Nursery for two weeks because she was homeless. The minor was placed in protective custody after he was found to have multiple semicircular red marks on his buttocks and back areas. When asked about the injuries, mother said she needed a babysitter at the last minute and left the minor with a person referred by a friend. The minor remained with this person for several hours, and was retrieved by mother's friend. After seeing a couple of bruises when she bathed the minor a few hours later, mother called the caretaker, who said they "'whooped'" the minor because he was playing with a plug socket. Mother did not know the name of the caretaker and refused to supply the name of her friend. Mother later told the police that she inflicted the injuries by striking the minor three times on the back with a belt. Mother was arrested for felony child endangerment. (Pen. Code, § 273a, subd. (a).)

The Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) filed a dependency petition in January 2011, alleging mother inflicted serious physical abuse on the minor and abuse of a half sibling. (§ 300, subds. (a), (j).) The juvenile court detained the minor and found father was the presumed father.

The social worker could not find mother after she was released from jail in late January 2011. Mother's listed cell phone number was disconnected; she later called the social worker from another number and asked about the status of her case. Mother did not ask about the minor or how to get him back.

Mother lived with her aunt (the minor's maternal great-aunt) in a guardianship from the time she was 13 until the guardianship was terminated at age 15. Mother had her first child when she was 13 or 14. This first child was removed from mother's care after mother was arrested in June 2008 for battery on another resident of her group home. Reunification services and parental rights were eventually terminated as to the first child.

Father appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance or was otherwise mentally impaired when he was interviewed in January 2011. He did not sign a declaration of paternity and never held the minor out as his own. He wanted a paternity test to see if the minor was his child. Father did not want to get upset about the minor's injuries if the child was not his. Paternity testing later established he was the minor's father.

In a February 2011 interview, mother said she struck the minor several times on the buttocks and the back after she caught him licking electrical sockets. Mother said she preferred to discipline the minor so he would not die from electrocution, and explained that she told the minor why he was being disciplined while hitting him.

Mother was now pregnant with her third child. She attended a domestic violence group, was planning to enroll in a physical abuse perpetrator class, and was attending parenting anger management classes. She told the social worker that she entered foster care when she was 13 and was recently emancipated from the foster care system, ...


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