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In Re C.B., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. Christopher D

March 12, 2013


(Super. Ct. No. 11-DP-0399)

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

In re C.B. 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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Christopher D., father of the minor, appeals from the juvenile court's dispositional orders removing the minor from his custody and placing him with mother. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 395.)*fn1 Father contends there was insufficient evidence to support jurisdiction over the minor. We shall affirm.


Prior to October 2011, father had custody of his seven-year-old son on weekends -- scheduled to pick the minor up from school on Fridays and bring him back to school on Mondays. On December 1, 2011, however, weekend visitation was suspended by the family law court, after mother filed a declaration seeking reduction in visitation and requesting visitation be conditioned upon father's participation in a rehabilitation program.

Mother's declaration stated that father had participated in a 30-day rehabilitation program in March 2010, but had returned to alcohol use immediately thereafter. Father was admittedly continuing to drink, and the minor also reported father was drinking, despite the court order that father not consume alcohol 12 hours prior to or during visitation. The minor also reported that, in April 2011, father had vomited from drinking too much and the dog ate the vomit and got drunk. The minor also stated that he and father were fishing and there was lots of beer.

Father had been missing an average of one visit per month, and had been picking the minor up a day late or returning him a day early. The minor frequently ended up spending the night with his aunt, instead of father.

The minor returned from visits not having bathed, not having brushed his teeth, and hungry. The minor would spend a day overeating after returning to mother, although father claimed he had offered the child food. Mother also stated the minor would return from visits with bug bites on his back and blisters on his feet from not wearing shoes. The minor told mother in April 2011 that he and father had slept in the car.

On October 15, 2010, father brought the minor to the maternal grandmother's house, reporting that the minor did not want to stay with him. Father told the maternal grandmother that his drinking had been getting worse and he felt he was unfit as a parent, as "broken" people cannot make good parents. Mother's declaration further recounted father's talk of suicide.

Finally, mother's declaration described an incident reported by the minor wherein the minor claimed father had gotten very angry when his dog defecated on the couch. According to the minor, father put the dog's head in the pile of feces while beating the dog, then put the dog's head in the toilet and flushed it. He then put the dog in the toilet, closed the lid, and sat on the lid while the dog screamed. When mother confronted father about the incident, he laughed.

On November 30, 2011, the Amador County Health and Human Services Agency (Agency) filed a section 300 petition on behalf of the then eight-year-old minor to remove him from father's custody. The petition, as subsequently amended, alleged the minor came within section 300, subdivisions (b) (failure to protect), (c) (serious emotional damage), and (i) (cruelty). Specifically, it alleged, under subdivision (b), that the minor has suffered, or there is substantial risk he will suffer, serious physical harm or illness, by the inability of the parent to provide regular care for the child due to the parent's mental illness, developmental disability, or substance abuse. In support of this allegation, it was alleged that, on November 29, 2011, father admitted he is an alcoholic and that he has continued to consume alcohol in the presence of the minor, despite being prohibited by a family court order from doing so. Mother reported that the reason for the family court order was her previous report that father had driven under the influence of alcohol with the minor in the car in the past.

Under section 300, subdivision (c), the petition alleged the minor was suffering from serious emotional damage as a result of the parent's conduct. Mother reported the minor suffered from depression and anxiety, and had developed anger management issues after he witnessed the incident wherein father beat the dog and put it in the toilet. The minor has since had repeated angry outbursts and tantrums, which had also caused him to get in trouble at school. The petition also alleged that the minor has stated he does not feel safe in father's home. Additionally, it was alleged that father had reported he has suicidal thoughts several times a day, although he states he would not commit suicide "because that would be stupid." Father, ...

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