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In re D.H.

California Court of Appeals, Third District, Butte

October 16, 2014

In re D.H. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.
v.
JASON H., Defendant and Appellant. BUTTE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent,

[CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION [*]]

APPEAL from orders of the Superior Court of Butte County, Nos. J-33052, J-36726 Clare Keithley, Judge.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COUNSEL

Jack A. Love, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Bruce Alpert, County Counsel; and Kimberly Merrifield for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

BUTZ, J.

Jason H. (father) appeals the juvenile court’s determination to deny him reunification services with the minors, now 16-year-old D.H. and seven-year-old T.H. The trial court found two reunification bypass provisions applied, that (1) father had previously had reunification services and his parental rights terminated to the minors’ half siblings and father had not made reasonable efforts to treat the problems that led to the removal of the half siblings (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 361.5, subds. (b)(10) & (11));[1] and (2) father was incarcerated and the provision of services would be detrimental to the children (§ 361.5, subd. (e)). Father contends these bypass provisions did not apply as he had made reasonable efforts to treat the problems that led to the removal of the half siblings and reunification services were in the minors’ best interest; and, it would not be detrimental to the minors for him to be provided reunification services. We agree with father that there is not sufficient evidence to support the finding that he had not made reasonable efforts to treat the problems that led to the removal of the half siblings, because the record before us shows that the problems that led to the removal of the half siblings (unsafe and unhealthy conditions) were different from those presented in this case (alcohol abuse, anger management problems and domestic violence); nor does the record establish any connection between the two sets of problems or even that father received services in the prior case for the problems manifest in the present case. However, we find there was sufficient evidence to support the finding that father was incarcerated and it

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would be detrimental to the minors to provide services. Accordingly, we shall affirm the orders of the juvenile court.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In 1997, the minors’ half siblings were declared dependents of the court, “as a result of unsafe and unhealthy living conditions.” Father did not participate in services and on June 7, 2000, parental rights were terminated.

Father has a history of referrals to children’s services including numerous complaints of domestic violence and intoxication. His criminal history goes back to 1995 and includes charges for assault with a deadly weapon, battery, spousal abuse, driving under the influence, and child cruelty. The first report of his being arrested for domestic violence and drunkenness is November 1999. His first conviction for an alcohol-related offense was for driving under the influence in February 2000, followed by another in May 2000. His first conviction for a violent offense was in 1998 and his first arrest for domestic violence was in November 1999. In 2000, he was pending trial for multiple charges of domestic violence and driving under the influence. Allegations of neglect and emotional abuse as to D.H. were substantiated. In 2004, the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services (Department) received a referral that father was drinking alcohol and had been in a car accident with D.H. in the car.

In 2006, the minor D.H. was removed from his parents’ home as a result of father’s alcohol abuse and domestic violence between the parents. D.H. reported father put him in a room and shot BB’s at him, hit D.H. in the head, stomach and arm with his fist, drank beer every night and was mean after drinking the beer. The parents participated in family services and D.H. was returned to their home in November 2007. Dependency was dismissed in December 2008, due to the family’s having reached the legal time limits for provision of family maintenance services. The prognosis for ...


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