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In Re P.M. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. Gary M. et al

December 21, 2012


(Super. Ct. Nos. JV09516, JV09517, JV09518, JV09519, JV09520)

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

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Appellants S.C., the mother, and Gary M., the father of the minors K.C., P.M., G.M., T.M., and A.M. (the minors), appeal from the juvenile court's orders terminating their parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 396, 366.26; unless otherwise noted, all statutory references that follow are to the Welfare and Institutions Code.) They contend the juvenile court should have applied the beneficial parent/child relationship exception to terminating parental rights. We affirm the orders of the juvenile court.


On October 21, 2009, the minors were taken into protective custody when mother was arrested on outstanding warrants. K.C. was born in June 2002, P.M. in January 2004, G.M. in July 2007, T.M. in July 2008, and A.M. in April 2009. During the drive to the foster family agency, K.C. and P.M. related being physically and mentally abused by father, as well as domestic violence between mother and father. The minors were able to describe the sources of the various burns, scratches, bruises, and scars on their body.

K.C. and P.M. related physical abuse by mother during an October 26, 2009, doctor's appointment. The social worker described the two children as having "bruises from head to toe." The children were initially guarded about the sources of their injuries, but nonetheless spontaneously reported them. Towards the end of the interview, P.M. crawled into the social worker's lap into a fetal position, blocking out further questions.

The Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services (DESS) filed dependency petitions on October 21, 2009, alleging jurisdiction over the minors pursuant to section 300, subdivision (b). The petitions alleged that: (1) mother had untreated bipolar disorder, believing that five of her seven children had been molested, and frequently questioned the children about the alleged molestations (mother has two children from another relationship who live with their father and are not parties to this dependency); (2) mother failed to protect the minors from physical abuse by father; (3) mother had a lengthy history of substance abuse, which led to the prior removal of K.C. and P.M. from her care; (4) mother had at least 15 addresses since January 2004, excluding incarcerations and shelters; (5) mother failed to insure that K.C. attends school; (6) mother and father had an extensive, documented history of domestic violence; (7) father had a history of substance abuse; (8) father had nine different addresses since January 2004, excluding incarcerations; and (9) father did not insure that P.M. attended school.

The minors were detained on October 26, 2009.

DESS reported an incident at mother's visit with the minors on November 4, 2009. When mother changed 16-month-old T.M.'s diaper during the visit, she declared that the child's vagina "did not look right," and claimed T.M. had been molested in foster care. Neither the paramedics nor law enforcement could find evidence of sexual abuse; a subsequent medical examination likewise found no evidence of abuse. Mother, who was hysterical and making rampant allegations, was allowed to stay for the remainder of the visit while T.M. was taken to the hospital for a medical examination. K.C. and P.M. were most upset by the incident, feeling very sad for their mother and hoping she would not go back to jail. When P.M. said that was how their mommy was, K.C. replied that it was all their fault and started to cry.

A December 2, 2009, quarterly report described K.C. as emotionally traumatized. He expressed daily how he wants to return to his foster mother.

The juvenile court sustained the allegations at a March 2, 2010, jurisdiction hearing.

The April 1, 2010, disposition report related that mother could be engaging and enthusiastic with the minors on her visits. Visits were supervised in light of her mental health, and the two older children, K.C. and P.M., were hypervigilant and concerned about their mother's mental health and welfare. If mother was late, they became tearful and concerned she had been harmed. They spoke of her being arrested or failing to pay her bail bondsmen. K.C. and P.M. told the social worker they "know how to handle her when she's all crazy and stuff."

The juvenile court bypassed services pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(6) at the April 2010 disposition hearing.

A July 2010 quarterly report related that P.M. struggled between liking her placement and her loyalty to mother. P.M. cried when told about the social worker's recommendation of adoption. P.M. had many questions, including whether mother could move into the foster home so that the foster mother could also take care of mother.

K.C. also struggled when the social worker told him he may be adopted. He wanted to return home so long as father was not there. If he could not go home, he would like to stay with the foster ...

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