In re Hannah D. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.
TRAVIS H., Defendant and Appellant. TULARE COUNTY HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY, Plaintiff and Respondent, v.
FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION [*]
from a judgment of the Superior Court of Tulare County Nos.
JJV068732A-D. Robert Anthony Fultz, Judge.
F. Rodriguez, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for
Defendant and Appellant.
Kathleen Bales-Lange, County Counsel, John A. Rozum and Abel
C. Martinez, Deputy County Counsel, for Plaintiff and
Preceding the Commencement of the Dependency Case
H. was born to Cheyenne J. and appellant Travis H. on January
14, 2015. He tested positive for methadone and was exhibiting
“severe withdrawal symptoms commonly associated with
being a drug exposed infant.”
and Cheyenne have two other children together: Jonathan H.
and Christopher H. Cheyenne also has an older child, Hannah
D., whose father was Casey D. Casey D. was not involved in
Hannah D.'s life and his whereabouts were unknown.
social worker met with Cheyenne on February 2,
2015. Cheyenne was living with Hannah
D.'s paternal grandfather, Rocky J. Rocky had cared for
Hannah D. since she was two years old. Rocky would sometimes
watch the other children for Cheyenne, but did not do so full
admitted to the social worker that she had a history of
methamphetamine use and had entered a methadone program when
she was three months pregnant with Tristan.
told the social worker that Rocky had “kicked [Travis]
out of their home” on February 1, 2015, “due to
the family issues and Travis doing nothing to help out with
the care of the children.” The social worker tried to
contact Travis on multiple occasions, leaving messages on his
cell phone. His whereabouts remained unknown until March 13,
March 9, 2015, Cheyenne “went to criminal court in
regards to her old warrants and drug use. She was ordered to
be on formal probation, start a court ordered drug program,
and lower her doses of methadone.” A social worker met
with Cheyenne after the criminal hearing and noted she was
“on [her] methadone prescription and appeared to be
slightly disoriented, her speech was slurred and thought
process was a little delayed.” Cheyenne admitted she
was overwhelmed with her current situation.
March 9, 2015, a doctor from the hospital where Tristan was
still being treated called the social worker to express
concern at the possibility of the child going home with
Cheyenne. Cheyenne had only visited two times in the past two
months, and Travis had not visited at all. Hospital staff
expressed concern over not being able to work with Cheyenne
with respect to the proper care of Tristan.
March 11, 2015, Cheyenne agreed to a voluntary family
maintenance case. She was scheduled for “couplet
care” of Tristan at the hospital. “Couplet care
was for the mother to spend the night with the child Tristan
and receive hands on education along with monitoring the
next day, hospital staff called the social worker to inform
her that Cheyenne's performance at couplet care was
inadequate. Tristan had cried for seven minutes and could be
heard by hospital staff from outside the room. Yet, Cheyenne
did not wake up until hospital staff roused her. After
Cheyenne began to feed Tristan, she again fell asleep with
Tristan in her arms. The social worker called Cheyenne and
advised her to do a second night of couplet care to show she
is able to care for Tristan. She did not show up for couplet
care and called hospital staff saying she could no longer
attend couplet care.
ultimately spent 55 days in the NICU.
March 11, 2015, Tulare County Child Welfare Services (CWS)
received a referral alleging Travis was intoxicated while on
vacation with three-year-old Jonathan H. The referral alleged
Travis, who smelled heavily of alcohol, “became violent
in front of the child.” Travis denied the allegation
and said he was trying to break down a door to get into a
bedroom where his mother and Jonathan were. Travis claimed he
was concerned about his mother because she had had a mild
heart attack in the past.
detained Tristan on March 13, 2015.
of Dependency Case
March 17, 2015, CWS filed a juvenile dependency petition
concerning all four children. At the time, Hannah D. was six
years old, Jonathan H. was three years old, Christopher H.
was 11 months old, and Tristan H. was two months old.
petition alleged Tristan had tested positive for methadone
and had exhibited “severe withdrawal symptoms commonly
associated with being a drug exposed infant.” It
further alleged Cheyenne's substance abuse rendered her
unable to care for the four children. CWS also claimed that
Travis knew or should have known of Cheyenne's substance
abuse and failed to protect the children. CWS did not detain
Hannah,  Jonathan or Christopher at that time.
detention report indicated that Travis associates with
skinheads and has white supremacist tattoos. The report also
contained the following notations pertaining to Travis:
Tulare County Superior Court Sustain system showed history of
ten criminal court cases that were filed from 2002 to 2014.
The most recent charges (459PC Burglary, 496aPC Receive/Etc
Known Stolen Property, 594aPC Vandalism, 667.5(b)PC Special
Allegation Prior Prison) were from 06-08-14 and not guilty
plea was entered 09-09-14 - next hearing: 03-16-15 for
Preliminary Setting. [¶] … [¶]
Tulare County Sheriffs Office Jail Management system (ID#
278320) - Subject has history of eighteen bookings from
August 2014 back to December 2000.
included 459PC Burglary, 496aPC Receive/Etc Known Stolen
Property, 594aPC Vandalism, 10851aVC Auto Theft, 496dPC
Buy/Receive Stolen Vehicle, 14601.1VC Drive while License
Suspended, 466PC Possess Burglary Tools, 470PC Forgery,
484e(b)PC Theft, 11561HS Proceeding for Parolee Addict,
3056PC Violation of Parole, 148PC Resisting Arrest, 11550aHS
Use/Under the Influence of Controlled Substance, 4140BP
Unauthorized Possession of Hypodermic Needle/Syringe, 11364HS
Possess Controlled Substance Paraphernalia, 11350aHS Possess
Narcotic Controlled Substance, 23153aVC DUI with Injury,
475PC Possess Forged Instrument, 4150BP Obtain Hypodermic
Needle/Syringe by Fraud, 11357aHS Possess Concentrated
detention hearing on March 18, 2015, the court ordered
Tristan detained. The court granted Cheyenne and Travis
supervised visitation for two hours, three times per week
with Tristan. The court also ordered Cheyenne not to
March 25, 2015, the social worker referred Travis for an
alcohol and other drug (AOD) assessment and random drug
testing. Travis signed both referrals.
March 26, 2015, social workers met with Travis. Travis was
living with his mother, grandmother and Jonathan.
said Jonathan had been “born exposed to
marijuana.” As a result, Travis had already completed
parenting education and a class about drug-exposed infants. A
social worker explained that while he had completed those
services in the past, CWS believed the same
“issues” continued to exist. Travis said he
agreed and was willing to address CWS's concerns.
said he began using marijuana in high school. At the age of
22, he suffered a head injury, which resulted in him
experiencing several seizures a day. Because of the head
injury, he does not remember much of his life between the
ages of 22 and 27. However, he did admit to using
methamphetamine, heroin and prescription drugs. Travis
claimed that when Jonathan was born, he quit using. After a
recent hospitalization, he was prescribed morphine and other
opiates. He did not want to take those medications and
therefore sought methadone treatment. Travis stopped the
methadone treatment on his own.
claimed he was not aware of Cheyenne's drug use.
social worker provided Travis with a monthly bus pass at the
March 26, 2015, meeting. The social worker also submitted a
referral for a mental health assessment and advised Travis a
clinician would be contacting him to set up the assessment.
Travis indicated he understood.
March 26, 2015, the social worker referred Travis to an
in-home parenting class through family services and to
respite care through Parenting Network to assist with
childcare needs “and to support the completion of his
services.” Travis's grandmother also said she would
help Travis with his childcare needs so he could commence
March 30, 2015, neither Cheyenne nor Travis showed up for a
scheduled visitation with Tristan.
jurisdiction/disposition report signed March 31, 2015,
indicated Tristan was still suffering from methadone
withdrawals and required 24-hour care.
April 7, 2015, Cheyenne told a social worker that, as a
result of a drug court hearing the previous day, she was
required to rapidly detox from methadone so that she could
start testing and begin a counseling program. Cheyenne
admitted to relapsing on April 5, 2015, by “smoking a
few puffs of Meth.” The children were with their
paternal grandmother at the time.
jurisdiction hearing on April 17, 2015, Cheyenne and Travis
each waived their rights and submitted on the petition and
reports. Some of the allegations in the petition were amended
to reflect Cheyenne had been on prescription methadone.
counsel said he had not yet begun his case plan because he
was in the middle of a job that was “wrapping
up.” When the job was completed, Travis was prepared to
begin drug testing and classes. Travis's counsel said
Travis had missed visits with Tristan because of his job.
court continued Tristan's removal from Cheyenne and
Travis's custody, but stated CWS “is authorized to
return the child Tristan, to the mother, once the child is
physically well.” Cheyenne and Travis were again
granted two-hour visits with Tristan, three times per week.
CWS was permitted to increase the length and frequency of the
visits and to permit unsupervised and overnight visits. The
court also granted visitation to Tristan's maternal and
paternal grandparents. The court continued Cheyenne and
Travis's custody of Hannah, Jonathan and Christopher.
Petition and Detention Report
7, 2015, CWS filed a supplemental petition (Welf. & Inst.
Code, § 387) concerning Hannah, Jonathan, and
Christopher. The petition alleged that Travis failed to drug
test seven times from March 31 to April 24, and that he had
not “followed through with any court ordered services
of parenting classes and counseling.” Travis claimed he
had been working, but he provided no pay stubs and no one
responded at the phone number he provided for his purported
employer. According to the detention report, he had not
visited Tristan a single time.
petition further alleged that Travis assaulted his mother on
or around May 3, 2015. The detention report stated that
Travis had gotten into an argument with his mother, Leann,
over an EBT card. Travis assaulted Leann, causing an injury
to her hand. Jonathan was also pushed to the
ground. Travis was locked out of the house, so
he threw a flowerpot through a window, shattering glass into
the home. He then attempted to kick the door down while
screaming and yelling.
petition also alleged that Cheyenne had failed to drug test
eight times from April 6 to April 25, and tested positive for
opiates on April 15, 2015. Cheyenne had also been incarcerated
for a week for noncompliance with a program ordered by drug
detained Hannah and Christopher on May 6 and detained
Jonathan on May 7. CWS attempted to detain Jonathan several
times on May 6. That night, Leann left a message on the
social worker's phone saying the social worker was not
going to take her grandson. She said, “ ‘[Y]ou
better no [sic] jerk this kid out of this home he is
fine with his grandparents.' ” She put Jonathan on
the phone and had him say, “ ‘You're not
going to take me away.' ” She said Travis had
“messed up” but was now “taken care
Jonathan was taken into custody, Travis sent text messages to
family members saying he wanted to say goodbye because he was
going to kill himself. Visalia police were unable to locate
sought placement of Jonathan, but CWS concluded such a
placement would not be appropriate at the time. As to
Leann's request, the detention report observed:
“There have been no steps to protect the children from
the parents' ongoing substance abuse and incarceration.
Both parents reside in respective grandparents['] homes
at this time [grandparents] have not shown the ability to
protect the kids from the parents.”
Hearing as to Hannah, Jonathan and Christopher
detention hearing on May 8, 2015, the court ordered Hannah,
Jonathan and Christopher detained. The court granted
semi-weekly, hour-long visits to Cheyenne and Travis. Travis
did not appear at the hearing.
Report and Hearing
jurisdiction/disposition report, signed May 26, 2015,
indicated that Travis had not contacted CWS since the
detention hearing. Travis had still not complied with any
component of his services.
police report concerning Travis's May 3, 2015, assault of
his mother was attached to the jurisdiction/disposition
report. The report indicated that a witness said Travis had
“been out of control for the last several weeks and
that he uses [Jonathan] as a bartering tool with his mother
to allow him to reside at the residence.”
Cheyenne nor Travis appeared for the jurisdiction/disposition
hearing. The court found the allegations in the petition to
be true. CWS was still awaiting one response to the Indian
Child Welfare Act ...