In re M.R.

In July 2015, plaintiff-respondent San Bernardino County Children and Family Services (CFS) was contacted by the maternal grandmother of five children whose mother, defendant-appellant M.G. (mother), had “left the children with her” and then “took off.” The juvenile court declared J.R. and M.R. to be dependents of the court, placing them with the maternal grandmother, and ordering reunification services for mother, but not their father, defendant-appellant R.R. With respect to Ro.R., the juvenile court found two men, R.R., and defendant-respondent S.H., to be presumed fathers. The juvenile court initially took jurisdiction over Ro.R., but subsequently dismissed his dependency petition, awarded sole legal and physical custody to S.H., and set the terms of visitation for mother and R.R. to remain in effect until modified by the family court. Mother argued on appeal that the juvenile court erred by failing to comply with the notice requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), requiring reversal of its orders terminating jurisdiction over Ro.R. and its custody and visitation orders, and remand for compliance with ICWA. R.R. argued ICWA notice was deficient with respect to J.R. and M.R., as well as Ro.R. R.R. also asserted the jurisdictional findings against him under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300, subdivision (g) with respect to the three children were unsupported by substantial evidence. Additionally, R.R. challenged the trial court's finding that S.H. was a presumed father of Ro.R. and contested the custody and visitation orders issued by the juvenile court with respect to Ro.R. upon termination of its jurisdiction. After review, the Court of Appeal reversed the jurisdictional findings against R.R.; the trial court‟s exercise of jurisdiction over Ro.R., J.R. and M.R. on other bases, and all other orders appealed were affirmed. View "In re M.R." on Justia Law