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In re I.G.

California Court of Appeals, Third District, Shasta

May 20, 2014

In re I.G., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.
v.
K.T., Defendant; SHASTA COUNTY HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY, Plaintiff and Respondent, I.G., a Minor, etc., Appellant.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Shasta County, No. 12 JV SQ 2950701, Molly A. Bigelow, Judge. Reversed.

Page 381

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 382

COUNSEL

Donna Furth, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Appellant.

Page 383

Rubin E. Cruse, Jr., County Counsel, and David M. Yorton, Jr., Deputy County Counsel, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

NICHOLSON, Acting P. J.

Fourteen-year-old I.G. was detained from her mother’s custody due to her mother’s substance abuse and failure to supervise. I.G.’s father was in prison for attempted murder and did not make any arrangements for the minor’s care. I.G. proved to be a challenge for the juvenile court and Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency (Agency). She was defiant and uncooperative, used illegal drugs, refused to attend school, was a frequent runaway and threatened to run away from any group home in which she was placed. The juvenile court sustained the Agency’s petition, declared I.G. a dependent, found the parents had made no progress in overcoming the circumstances requiring out of home placement but, at the Agency’s urging, returned I.G. to her mother’s custody and terminated dependency jurisdiction.

I.G.’s counsel, with the assent of her guardian ad litem, appealed on I.G.’s behalf, contending the juvenile court erred in granting mother custody and terminating dependency because I.G. remained at risk and in need of supervision. We agree and reverse the juvenile court’s orders returning the minor to her mother and terminating dependency jurisdiction.

BACKGROUND

I.G. was 14 years old when she came to the attention of the Agency in July 2012. She had just tested positive for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana, after giving birth to a premature baby. The Agency filed a petition under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300[1] on behalf of I.G.’s baby alleging I.G. and the baby’s father were both using alcohol and illegal drugs, were assaultive toward each other and others, and had not been visiting the baby or learning how to care for her.[2] The allegations were found true and I.G. was provided reunification services, but she did not maintain contact with her attorney or the social worker.

In October 2012, the Agency discovered that I.G.’s mother was rarely home, using methamphetamine, abusing ...


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