Back

Juvenile court: placement of minor children with their mother would be detrimental to the children’s welfare not supported by clear and convincing evidence where the mother had previously fled domestic violence and left the children with their father

California

,

USA

No Clear and Convincing Evidence of Detriment in Placing Children with a Non-custodial Parent When That Parent Had Fled to Another State to Escape Domestic Violence In L. A. Cnty. Dep’t of Children & Family Servs. v. Sindy S (In re Solomon B.), B311250 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 1, 2021), the defendant mother appealed the juvenile court’s order denying the placement of her two minor children with her after finding that such a placement would be detrimental to the welfare of the children. The California Court of Appeal for the Second District reversed the juvenile court’s orders insofar as they denied placement with the mother and remanded the case for further proceedings. Record Lacked Clear and Convincing Evidence of Detriment The Court of Appeal explained that for a court to deny placement with a non-offending noncustodial parent, the juvenile court must find by clear and convincing evidence that such a placement would be detrimental to the health, safety, and/or well-being of the children.The Court noted that the juvenile court dismissed all the counts involving the mother and the juvenile court’s primary reason for denying the placement of the minor children with their mother was based on the court’s conclusion that the mother abandoned the children when she moved to Texas without them.The Court explained that the evidence did not sufficiently support the juvenile court’s conclusion as the mother moved to Texas to flee domestic violence, had a rational belief that the father would not abuse the children, regularly checked in with the maternal grandmother about the children’s welfare, participated in weekly video conferences with the children, and had returned to California and participated in services when she was notified of the Department of Children and Family Services’ involvement.Therefore, the juvenile court did not find clear and convincing evidence that placing the children with their mother would be detrimental to their welfare.

April 14, 2022
L. A. Cnty. Dep’t of Children & Family Servs. v. Sindy S (In re Solomon B.), B311250 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 1, 2021)
California Courts