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In Re Justin P. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. A.P

September 11, 2012

IN RE JUSTIN P. ET AL., PERSONS COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. GLENN COUNTY HUMAN RESOURCES AGENCY, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
A.P., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. Nos. 09JP00454/09JP00455)

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

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Aaron P. (father) appeals from the juvenile court's orders terminating his parental rights to his young sons Justin P. and Simon P. (minors). (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 366.26, 395.)*fn1 Father contends the juvenile court abused its discretion in denying his request for a bonding study and erred in finding the beneficial relationship exception to termination of parental rights did not apply. We find no error and shall affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Preliminary Proceedings

On October 7, 2009, Glenn County Human Resources Agency (the Agency) filed section 300 petitions on behalf of minors, who were then ages two months (Justin) and 17 months (Simon). The petitions alleged that minors' mother (mother*fn2 ) had mental health issues, mother and father were abusing drugs and had a history of domestic violence, and minors' home was in a dirty and unsafe condition. The juvenile court detained minors, placing them with their maternal aunt and uncle.

The juvenile court held the jurisdiction hearing on November 5, 2009; both parents submitted on the Agency's report. The court struck the unsafe home allegations and sustained the remaining allegations in the petitions.

The court held the disposition hearing on December 3, 2009. Father had tested positive for marijuana five times in the six weeks following minors' detention and was being treated at a methadone clinic for his addiction to Percocet. He had obtained a "legal marijuana license" but had not disclosed that fact to his substance abuse counselor, who was concerned. Neither he nor mother was participating in reunification services on a regular basis, although they were attending supervised visitation twice per week. Minors had made a "smooth transition" to the home of the maternal aunt and uncle. The juvenile court adjudged minors dependents and ordered six months of reunification services for both parents.

Review Hearings and Placement with Father

The court scheduled the six-month review for June 17, 2010. As the hearing approached, father was not doing well in reunification. He and mother had been apart and reconciled several times and were now separated; father lived with his grandmother. Father had been taking medications for sleep (Trazodone), depression (Lexapro) and anxiety (Xanax), along with methadone and marijuana. He was not attending services regularly and struggled with his participation in services due to lethargy caused by his drug use. He was, however, visiting. Minors were doing well in the home of their maternal aunt and uncle. They had developed strong attachments to their maternal aunt and uncle, and sought them out for comfort and reassurance.

The court continued the review hearing several times at the parents' request; the six-month review hearing was ultimately heard on October 7 and November 4, 2010, together with the

12-month review. The Agency had originally recommended termination of services for both parents, but on October 29, 2010, filed an addendum suggesting an additional six months of services for father due to his improved interactions with minors at visits and his improved amenability to services after recently stopping his methadone use. The juvenile court terminated services for mother but extended father an ...


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