California Court of Appeals, Second District, First Division
In re D.L., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent,
ANGELINA A., Defendant and Appellant.
from orders of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County No.
DK22283, Marguerite D. Downing, Judge. Reversed in part and
affirmed in part.
Keller, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for
Defendant and Appellant.
C. Wickham, County Counsel, R. Keith Davis, Assistant County
Counsel, Jeanette Cauble, Deputy County Counsel, for
Plaintiff and Respondent.
CHANEY, Acting P. J.
February 2017, a loaded gun was found in an unlocked closet
in a bedroom where two-year-old D.L. slept. In May 2017, the
juvenile court determined that the parents' indifference
to the risks posed by leaving a loaded gun in the child's
reach presented an ongoing risk of danger to the child. The
court declared the child a dependent of the court and placed
her in the home of her mother, with her father having
conclude the juvenile court's jurisdictional finding as
to mother regarding ongoing risk was not supported by
substantial evidence. We affirm the court's order in all
February 9, 2017, Eli L. (father) was arrested for carrying a
loaded firearm in public. On February 21, 2017, the
Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received an
anonymous referral indicating police had found a loaded
rifle, bulletproof vest, gun parts, and ammunition in an
unlocked bedroom closet in a home where two-year-old D.L.
resided. The items were confiscated and removed from the
home, but DCFS later verified that the gun and ammunition had
been present. A detective familiar with father's criminal
case told DCFS that father was affiliated with a criminal
social worker interviewed Angelina A. (mother), who stated
that she never saw guns, gun parts, ammunition, or a
bulletproof vest in the home, and had never seen father with
any guns in his possession. Mother advised the social worker
that she was no longer in contact with father, and he was not
welcome in her home.
filed a Welfare and Institutions Code section 300 petition on
behalf of D.L. The juvenile court conducted a
detention hearing and ordered the child released to mother
and temporarily detained from father.
was subsequently interviewed by a social worker, who asked if
she was concerned about father leaving a loaded gun in reach
of the child. Mother stated that she did not think father
would put her child in danger. Mother also showed the social
worker the closet in which the gun had been found, which was
closed only by a curtain that did not reach the floor. Mother
stated that she would not keep the child from father. The
social worker observed D.L. climbing on top of a sofa and
kitchen table during the visit.
social worker interviewed father in jail. Father stated that
the gun had been in a bag on top of a stack of blankets on
the floor of a closet in the bedroom where D.L. slept. Father
believed the gun was loaded, but it was there for only a
week, and the child could not reach it, although he
acknowledged she was a climber. Father stated that mother did
not know about the gun. He felt he needed it for protection
after he had been shot in 2010, but stated that in the future
he would either not have a gun or lock it in a safe so the
child could not access it.
juvenile court conducted a jurisdictional and dispositional
hearing, where mother, father, and minor's counsel asked
that the court dismiss the petition. The court noted that the
risk of harm to the child was continuing because father was
no longer in custody, and mother had a
“lackadaisical” view and did not appear to be
proactive in protecting the child, as she continued to allow
father to babysit. Although the court noted that some of
DCFS's concerns were speculative, it sustained the
petition, declared D.L. a dependent of the court, and (1)
removed her from ...