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In re Luke H.

California Court of Appeals, Third District, Sacramento

November 5, 2013

In re LUKE H., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.
v.
LUKE H., Defendant and Appellant SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
DEBORAH H., Objector and Respondent.

CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION[*]

Pub. order 12/3/13

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Sacramento County No. JD231552, Jerilyn L. Borack, J.

Beth A. Melvin, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

John F. Whisenhunt, County Counsel, and Lilly C. Frawley, Deputy County Counsel, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

HOCH, J.

Luke H., age 18, appeals from an order of the Sacramento County Juvenile Court denying his petition for an order compelling his mother, Deborah H., to make his nondependent sister, five-year-old Angel H., available for weekly visitation.[1] Luke contends (1) the juvenile court erred when it relied on In re A.R. (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 1160 (A.R.) to deny his petition, (2) the court had authority to enter a visitation order against mother with respect to a nondependent sibling, (3) the denial of his petition seeking sibling visitation violated his constitutional right to due process, and (4) the court denied him a meaningful hearing. We conclude the juvenile court did not have jurisdiction to grant Luke’s modification petition for visitation with a nondependent sibling. We find the A.R. case to be controlling on this issue. Luke’s attempts to distinguish A.R. are not persuasive. The fact that the juvenile court had jurisdiction over mother does not mean the court had jurisdiction to compel visitation with a sibling who is not subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Further, in this case, Luke did not have a constitutional right to visitation with his nondependent sibling. Finally, Luke has forfeited his argument that there was no evidentiary hearing. In any event, this argument fails because the juvenile court had no jurisdiction to order visitation with a nondependent sibling regardless of any evidence that would have been presented. Accordingly, we affirm the juvenile court’s order.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND[2]

Originating Circumstances

In April 2011, the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) received a referral from a mandated reporter expressing concerns about Luke’s mental health related to ongoing abuse and exploitation by mother.

Section 300 Petition

In April 2011, a petition was filed alleging Luke came within section 300, subdivision (c)[3], in that he was suffering serious emotional damage as a result of mother’s conduct. The petition alleged mother degrades and belittles Luke, deprives him of sleep as a form of punishment, yells at him for hours past his bedtime, threatens to “5150”[4] Luke if he does not listen to her, and engages in other excessively controlling, humiliating, and exploitive behavior. The petition alleged that, as a result, Luke suffered physical symptoms including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), rashes, shingles, and blood in his stool.

A separate, non-detaining petition was filed on behalf of Angel, a developmentally delayed five-year-old girl who had been adopted by mother.

Detention

At a detention hearing in May 2011, the juvenile court found a prima facie showing had been made that Luke comes within section 300. Luke was ordered detained with the family of his best friend.

Contested Jurisdiction

At a contested jurisdiction hearing in June 2011, the juvenile court sustained the section 300, subdivision (c), allegations. The court found Luke may suffer serious ...


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