California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Second Division
In re J.A. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent,
J.A., Defendant and Appellant.
from the Superior Court of San Bernardino County Nos.
J273242, J273243 Steven A. Mapes, Judge. Dismissed.
Blue Law Group and Michael K. Blue, for Defendant and
Michelle D. Blakemore, County Counsel, and Jamila Bayati,
Deputy County Counsel, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
months after the jurisdiction and disposition hearing where
the juvenile court placed J.A.'s (mother) twin children
with their nonoffending, noncustodial father and dismissed
the dependency with family law exit orders, mother attempts
to challenge the court's findings and unwind the removal
order. Relying on our decision in In re A.O. (2015)
242 Cal.App.4th 145 (A.O.), she argues we should
excuse the lateness of her appeal because the juvenile court
failed to advise her of her appellate rights at the close of
the hearing, as required by California Rules of Court, rule
5.590(a). We conclude A.O. and the line
of cases preceding it are distinguishable and do not apply to
this case. We will therefore dismiss the appeal as
Jurisdiction and Disposition
subjects of this now-closed dependency are an 11-year-old boy
and his twin sister, who were nine years old in October 2017
when respondent San Bernardino County Children and Family
Services (CFS) filed petitions on their behalf. The petitions
alleged mother neglected and emotionally abused the boy,
which also placed his sister at risk of harm. At the time,
CFS had an open case with mother. They decided to file the
petitions, however, after an incident where mother was
driving with the twins, became upset with the boy, drove him
to a nearby hospital, and tried to abandon him there. Mother
walked into the hospital with the boy and told him to wait
there, as she ran out. Hospital staff and security had to
barricade her in the parking lot, reach through the window of
her van, place it in park, and take the keys to stop her from
leaving her son. According to hospital staff, mother said her
son was “too much trouble, CPS should take him.”
To justify her actions, she told a CFS social worker that she
couldn't handle her son's behavioral issues. She said
he was a “habitual liar” and had been diagnosed
with ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder by Loma Linda
University Medical Center. CFS later determined that he had
never been diagnosed with those disorders. Mother also told
CFS her son was “psychotic and should be placed in a
had been married to the twins' biological father from
2003 until they divorced in 2012. She lived in Ontario,
California and father, who was in the Air Force, lived in Las
Vegas, Nevada with his wife (stepmother), although at the
time of the dependency he was deployed to South Korea.
jurisdiction/disposition report, CFS recommended the court
sustain the twins' petitions, remove them from mother and
place them with father, and dismiss the dependency with
family law orders. CFS had experience with mother and the
twins from before the abandonment incident and were concerned
that mother exaggerated and exacerbated the boy's
behavioral issues and promoted discord between the twins.
According to the social worker with the most experience with
the family, mother treated the boy with loathing and
hostility, and constantly compared him to his father. The boy
told CFS that mother hit him all the time and he was afraid
of her. He had bruises but couldn't say how he had gotten
them. An interventionist from South Coast Community Services
who had been providing intensive in-home services for the
family reported that she was concerned about the twins'
welfare in mother's care. She saw bruising on the boy in
early October 2017 and he expressed being afraid of mother.
At school, the boy displayed above-average cognitive
abilities and his teacher had no concerns about his behavior.
Her only concern was that he would often arrive to school
tired, in dirty clothing. The girl told the social worker
that her brother needed to live with father because “my
mom wants to get rid of him.”
week after CFS filed the petition, father emailed the social
worker to ask that the twins be placed with him and
stepmother. The social worker then spoke with stepmother, who
said she loved the twins like her own and would be able to
care for them.
juvenile court held the jurisdiction and disposition hearing
on November 20, 2017. Mother and her counsel were present.
Father's counsel and stepmother were present, and father
appeared telephonically from South Korea. Mother objected to
the allegations in the petitions and to the content of
CFS's reports, but opted not to testify. She argued the
children were not safe with father and urged the court to let
them stay with the maternal grandparents (where they had been
placed since detention) so she could work on her issues and
reunify with them. Counsel for father, the twins, and CFS all
argued placement with father was in the twins' best
court sustained the allegations in the petitions, removed the
twins from mother, and granted father sole legal and physical
custody. The court granted mother supervised
visits every other weekend and twice weekly supervised
telephone calls. The court indicated on the family law order
that supervision was required for mother because she had not
completed a parenting course, individual counseling, or child
abuse prevention training. It then dismissed the dependencies
and referred future proceedings to family court. At no point
during the hearing did the court advise mother that she had
the right to appeal the findings and orders it had made.
Post-dependency Matters and ...