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In Re F. G., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. R. K

November 30, 2012


(Super. Ct. No. JVSQ110000160)

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

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Appellant R. K., mother of the minor, appeals from the juvenile court's judgment of disposition. (Welf. & Inst. Code,*fn1 §§ 360, 395.) She contends the petition failed to state facts sufficient to support jurisdiction and that the evidence was insufficient to support jurisdiction. She further contends the juvenile court's intervention was improper due to a prior probate court's order. We affirm.


On May 11, 2011, the minor's maternal grandmother commenced proceedings in the probate court to obtain guardianship of the then three-year-old minor. Her petition stated that grandmother had taken on a significant role in raising the minor since her birth, the minor had spent nearly half her life in grandmother's home, and grandmother hoped that, with the guardianship in place, mother would receive the services she needed in order to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the minor.

The probate court entered an order granting grandmother temporary guardianship and, pursuant to Probate Code section 1513, subdivision (c), referred the matter to Nevada County Department of Social Services/Child Protective Services (Nevada CPS) for investigation.

The Nevada CPS investigation uncovered a lengthy child welfare referral history. The first referral was made upon the minor's birth, reporting that mother had a history of using methamphetamine, was taking methadone, and the hospital was concerned about mother's aggressive behavior. The second referral was made over six months later, in April 2008, noting mother's history of methamphetamine and methadone use, and reporting that mother had admitted using methamphetamine at a party and then driving with the minor under the influence. Mother agreed to participate in family preservation services and signed a safety agreement. The third referral was made in July 2008, reporting that mother was using methamphetamine. Mother stated she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but disagreed with the diagnosis. She initially agreed to participate in a voluntary family maintenance plan but later declined.

The fourth referral was made in March 2009, reporting that mother was using the television to occupy the minor and had threatened to kill anyone who tried to take the minor away. Mother was unresponsive to Nevada CPS's attempts to contact her. The fifth referral was made in October 2009, reporting that mother was neglecting the minor's needs and had drug and mental health issues. Again, Nevada CPS was unable to contact mother. The sixth referral was made in January 2011, wherein several reports alleged mother was verbally and emotionally abusive. During the investigation, Nevada CPS witnessed mother's volatile behavior firsthand. Mother initially agreed to participate in family preservation services but when the social worker returned with the necessary paperwork, mother became irate and irrational, telling the social worker to leave the residence.

Two referrals were made in February 2011. One reported that mother was neglectful and emotionally abusive toward the minor, was taking prescription pain medication and driving under the influence of the medication, and was medicating the minor to make her sleep at night. Mother admitted she needed counseling but refused services through Nevada CPS. The other referral in February 2011 reported mother was continuing to yell at the minor and abuse prescription medications and that mother had been involved in a physical altercation wherein the minor was present. There was another referral in May 2011 reporting the physical altercation. Mother's whereabouts were unknown to Nevada CPS at that time.

On August 29, 2011, Nevada CPS filed a section 300 petition on behalf of the minor alleging the minor was at risk due to mother's instability and inability to provide safe and stable housing, providing specific allegations establishing such instability. The petition also alleged the minor was at risk because of mother's unresolved mental health issues which periodically rendered her incapable of adequately caring for the minor, as evidenced by her history of inconsistent compliance with treatment, substance abuse, and then current abstention from medication. The petition also alleged that the minor was at risk due to mother's anger management issues and the serious threats she makes when she does not get her way. The petition alleged the minor had been exposed to mother's "road rage," tirades, and yelling and screaming to such an extent that the minor was exhibiting startle responses and had been diagnosed with adjustment disorder with anxiety by Nevada County Children's Behavioral Health. In addition to these section 300, subdivision (b), allegations as to mother, the petition alleged subdivision (g) allegations of failure to support as to the minor's incarcerated father.

At the prejurisdiction hearing, mother's counsel informed the court he had reviewed the petition, but not the report, with mother in its entirety. Mother was requesting an evidentiary hearing on jurisdiction. Mother's counsel further stated "And I'd just inquire of [Nevada CPS's counsel] if he's open to the idea of amending the petition to deal with some of the concerns my client has about the details behind the allegations in the petition. We can meet and confer about that and confirm with the Court if we have an agreement on that date." Nevada CPS's counsel replied "Certainly."

The contested jurisdiction hearing took place several weeks later on October 14, 2011. Both mother and her treating physician testified. At the conclusion of the evidence, a brief recess was taken. Upon return, the following colloquy took place:

"[Nevada CPS's counsel]: Are we back on the record, your honor? Your Honor, at this time I would be requesting by oral motion to amend the current petition. I do not have an amended petition with me. However, I do have language that I have discussed with [mother's ...

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