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In re Jonathan B.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Third Division

February 19, 2015

In re JONATHAN B. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
ANDREA S., Defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, DK05369 Sherri S. Sobel, Juvenile Court Referee.

Page 116

COUNSEL

Daniel G. Rooney, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Mark J. Saladino, County Counsel, Dawyn R. Harrison, Assistant County Counsel, and Kim Nemoy, Deputy County Counsel, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

LAVIN, J. [*]

Andrea S. (mother) appeals from the court’s order sustaining jurisdiction over her three children: Jonathan B. (age 13), Richard S. (age 7), and Savannah S. (age 5). Mother contends that the jurisdictional findings sustained against her under Welfare and Institutions Code[1] section 300, subdivisions (a) and (b)(1), are unsupported by substantial evidence because she took the proper actions to protect her children when Richard S., Sr. (father) assaulted her on May 27, 2014. We agree and reverse.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Mother and father were married in 2006. Jonathan was four at the time and his biological father was not involved in his life. Father raised Jonathan as his

Page 117

own child.[2] Jonathan was born in 2001, Richard was born in 2006, and Savannah in 2009. In 2009, father punched mother in the face once when they were arguing.

In July or August 2013, mother and father separated and father moved out of the family home. They continued to jointly care for the children; the children lived primarily with mother, and attended weekend visits with father. Mother and father “[got] along well in terms of communicating regarding the children.”

On May 27, 2014, the children attended a party with father during a weekend visit with him. Father drank alcohol at the party. When mother picked up the children from the party she also agreed to give father a ride to his home ten minutes away.[3]

In the car, father became upset when he observed hickeys on mother’s neck. He called her a “ ‘bitch’ ” and a “ ‘whore’ ” and pinched her on the neck. Mother asked father to stop because the children were in the car, and father responded “ ‘I don’t care, they need to know what kind of mother they have.’ ” As the car ...


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