(Super. Ct. No. JV129617)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Raye , P. J.
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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.
Appellant Sacramento County Office of Education (Office of Education) challenges the Sacramento County Juvenile Court's order requiring it to initiate and fund the educational placement of Q.N. (the minor). Office of Education argues the court exceeded its authority, the minor failed to exhaust her administrative remedies, and the court denied Office of Education due process under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.). We find the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction over Office of Education and shall reverse the court's order. We remand the matter to the juvenile court to appoint a responsible adult as required by Welfare and Institutions Code section 726.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The minor was born in the summer of 1996, the eldest of four children. Her mother lived on the streets and used drugs for many years. Her father is absent.
Cynthia M. obtained guardianship over the minor at around age three.*fn1 As the minor got older, she became more difficult to control. Cynthia removed the minor from her home, placing her with other family members.
At age 12, following years of physical abuse and general neglect, the minor was adjudged a dependent of the court under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300 in Alameda County.*fn2 In January 2009 the minor was adjudged a section 300 dependent of Sacramento County.
During her dependency, the minor was placed in six foster homes, the receiving home, and three group placement homes within five months. She ran away from at least one foster home. As a result, the minor's school attendance suffered.
In 2009, while the minor lived in a group home, she became angry when a home worker denied her a phone call. The minor threw desk items on the floor, smashed the phone, and threw a metal bowl at the worker.
The same day, another minor resident at the home discovered the minor had knocked her things to the floor. When the resident questioned the minor, the minor made threats. The minor picked up a pot of boiling water, acting as though she was going to throw it. The other resident left; the minor followed and chased the other resident with a knife.
In April 2009 the minor appeared before the Madera County Juvenile Court. The court established jurisdiction over the minor by sustaining misdemeanor allegations of terrorist threats, vandalism, and drawing a deadly weapon. (Pen. Code, §§ 422, 594, subd. (a), 417, subd. (a)(1).) The Madera court determined the minor's legal county of residence was Sacramento County and that she was a dependent of that county. The Madera court ordered the matter transferred to Sacramento County for final disposition.
In May 2009 the Sacramento County Juvenile Court accepted the transfer and ordered the probation department and Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services to prepare a section 241.1 joint assessment to determine whether the minor should be a section 300 dependent or a section 602 ward of the court. The court found there "is not a parent and/or legal guardian who's capable or available to authorize remedial care or treatment."
That same month, the minor was placed in the youth detention facility and entered a school located on the premises. Office of Education is the agency responsible for providing special education services to students enrolled at the school.
Office of Education determined the minor was eligible for services. Attempts to contact the minor's legal guardian, Cynthia, proved futile. As a result, Office of Education appointed Sue L. as the minor's "surrogate parent" pursuant to Government Code section 7579.5.*fn3 Sue attended Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, representing the minor's educational interests.
Office of Education prepared an academic and health assessment of the minor in June 2009. On June 17, 2009, Office of Education held an IEP meeting for the minor. The IEP team determined the minor was eligible for special education services as a student with a learning disability. The minor began receiving special education services.
On June 25, 2009, the court received the IEP and continued the section 241.1 hearing to consider further options. On September 11, 2009, the minor was adjudged a ward of the court and her dependency status was terminated. The court continued suspension of the right of the minor's mother to make ...