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In re K.T.

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Second Division

November 12, 2019

IN RE K.T., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.
v.
J.F. et al., Defendants; J.B. et al., Interveners and Appellants. San Bernardino County Children and Family Services, Plaintiff and Respondent,

         [Certified for Partial Publication[*]]

         [254 Cal.Rptr.3d 781] APPEAL from the Superior Court of San Bernardino County. Christopher B. Marshall, Judge. Affirmed. (Super.Ct.No. J272724)

Page 16

         COUNSEL

         William D. Caldwell, Venice, by appointment of the Court of Appeal, for Interveners and Appellants.

         Michelle D. Blakemore, County Counsel, and Pamela J. Walls, Outside Counsel, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

          OPINION

         RAMIREZ, P. J.

Page 17

          San Bernardino County Children and Family Services (CFS) removed K.T. (K. or child) from his mother when he was about nine months old. At that time, a nurse noticed that he had an enlarged head. He was placed with distant relatives, Mr. and Ms. B., who were already caring for his older half-brother.

         Further testing showed that K. had a subdural hematoma. Meanwhile, the B.’s began refusing to communicate with K.’s social worker or her "friends" in the same office, claiming that she had discriminated against them and insulted them.

         [254 Cal.Rptr.3d 782] CFS detained K., placed him in a special health care needs foster home, and filed a petition asking the trial court to remove him from the B.’s custody under section 387.[1] The B.’s, in turn, filed a "changed circumstances" petition under section 388, asking the trial court to return K. to them.

          The trial court denied the section 388 petition, finding that the B.’s had not shown that they were qualified as a special health care needs foster home. It then granted the section 387 petition, finding that communication between the B.’s and CFS had broken down.

         CFS contends that the B.’s lack standing to appeal from these orders, citing In re Miguel E. (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 521, 15 Cal.Rptr.3d 530. We agree with Miguel E. that, in general, a person from whom a child has been removed under section 387 lacks standing to challenge the removal. However, when that person is a relative, we disagree with Miguel E., because under section 361.3, a relative has standing to appeal from a refusal to place a child with him or her (an argument that Miguel E. did not consider).

          In the unpublished portion of this opinion, however, we reject the B.’s ...


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