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dependency articles

 

Issue Spotting in Appeals –
Through the Setting of the Section 366.26 Hearing

by Shama H. Mesiwala, former CCAP Staff Attorney

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I.  Purpose of Dependency Law Generally.

A.  Purpose of dependency law is two-fold:

B.  The general best interests of the minor cannot override the specific requirements of a statute.

C.  Dependency law is not a vehicle to punish the parents.

D.  Did the proper court assume jurisdiction of the minor?

I. Purpose of Dependency Law Generally.

  1. Purpose of dependency law is two-fold: (1) protect the welfare of children by the state acting as parens patriae; and (2) safeguard the parents' right to raise their children by providing services that help them overcome the problems that created the need for a dependency adjudication.  (In re Jody R. (1990) 218 Cal.App.3d 1615, 1623.)

  2. The general best interests of the minor cannot override the specific requirements of a statute.  (In re Jessie G. (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 1, 7.)

  3. Dependency law is not a vehicle to punish the parents.  (In re Kieshia E. (1993) 6 Cal. 4th 68, 81.)

  4. Did the proper court assume jurisdiction of the minor?
    1. Juvenile court jurisdiction prevails over other custody proceedings concerning the same child and conflicting orders from another court are void.  (In re William T. (1985) 172 Cal.App.3d 790, 797-798.)

    2. The juvenile court may litigate identical issues decided in the family law court because the juvenile court is charged with the protection of children, whereas the family law court dissolves marriages and issues custody orders.  (In re Desiree B. (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 286, 293.)

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