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J. A v. the Superior Court of Butte County

March 7, 2013

J. A., PETITIONER,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF BUTTE COUNTY, RESPONDENT; BUTTE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL SERVICES ET AL., REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST.



(Super. Ct. No. J34920) ORIGINAL PROCEEDING. Tamara L. Mosbarger, Judge.

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

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Petition granted.

Bruce Alpert, County Counsel, and Kimberly Merrifield for Real Party in Interest Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services.

No appearance for Real Parties in Interest D. B. or S. B.

Petitioner J.A., father of the minor S.B., seeks an extraordinary writ (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.452) to vacate the orders of the juvenile court made at the disposition hearing denying reunification services and setting a Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26 hearing.*fn1 Due to delays in preparing and transmitting the record, which made it impossible for the parties to brief and this court to decide the case prior to the scheduled section 366.26 hearing, we issued a stay of the proceedings in the juvenile court. We shall grant the petition and vacate the stay.

FACTS

In September 2009 the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services (Department) placed 16-month-old S.B. in protective custody due to her mother's arrest for child endangerment arising from alcohol abuse and failure to supervise the minor.*fn2 The petition alleged father had a history of sexual offenses with minors and was a Penal Code section 290 registrant.

The detention report stated mother had a lengthy history of alcohol and other substance abuse. Father had a learning disability and was molested as a child. He had experienced behavior problems and committed a sex offense as a minor. At age 18 he had sex with a 14-year-old girl and was convicted of the offense. The juvenile court detained the minor, sustained the petition, and ordered reunification services for both parents.

The six-month review report recommended further services for mother but termination of services for father. Father had completed three parenting programs and an anger management program. Father also submitted to a psychological assessment, during which he said he believed he was incapable of providing the care the minor required, both now and in the future. The assessment reiterated a previous diagnosis that father was severely emotionally disturbed and had an antisocial personality disorder, an impulsive disorder, and a severe learning disability. However, the assessment stated that father had not previously received adequate mental health care and might benefit from some targeted services. The assessment concluded father was "unable to create a safe living environment" for the minor and "would not benefit from services to the point of independently caring for" the minor. The review report stated that while father had benefitted personally from services, his diagnosed mental conditions rendered him unable to make sufficient progress in services to be able to safely parent the minor and recommended termination of his reunification services.

At the April 2010 review hearing, the juvenile court terminated father's services while continuing mother's services.

The October 2010 review report recommended a plan of family maintenance with mother. The minor had been placed with her on an extended visit, and father visited the minor two days a week. The court adopted the recommendation.

The next review report recommended granting custody of the minor to mother and terminating the dependency. Father continued to visit the minor twice a week. In April 2011 the court adopted the recommendation and terminated the dependency.

A year later, the Department filed a nondetaining petition due to mother's relapse into substance abuse and failure to participate in a voluntary case plan for the preceding two months. An amended petition added an allegation relating to father's criminal history and registration requirement. In May 2012 ...


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