In re A.Z., 031519 CAAPP2, B291337

Docket Nº:B291337
Opinion Judge:KIM, J.
Party Name:In re A.Z., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. CHRISTINA M., Defendant and Appellant.
Attorney:Jamie A. Moran, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant. Leslie A. Barry, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Respondent I.Z. No appearance for Plaintiff and Respondent Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
Judge Panel:We concur: BAKER, Acting P. J.MOOR, J.
Case Date:March 15, 2019
Court:California Court of Appeals
 
FREE EXCERPT

In re A.Z., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent,

v.

CHRISTINA M., Defendant and Appellant.

B291337

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fifth Division

March 15, 2019

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

Appeal from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. 17CCJP01472 CJulie Fox Blackshaw, Judge.

Jamie A. Moran, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Leslie A. Barry, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Respondent I.Z.

No appearance for Plaintiff and Respondent Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

KIM, J.

I. INTRODUCTION

Mother Christina M. contends the juvenile court abused its discretion when it awarded full legal custody of A.Z. to A.Z.'s father I.Z. rather than granting joint legal custody to father and mother.1 We affirm.

II. BACKGROUND

On October 31, 2017, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (Department) filed a petition under Welfare and Institutions Code2 section 300, subdivision (b) alleging that mother often left then nine-year-old A.Z. and her siblings3 alone and locked outside of the home for extended periods of time with no adult supervision, the children wore dirty clothes and had matted hair, the children had head lice, and the home was dirty and had no electricity. Mother's failure to provide appropriate care for and supervision of the children endangered their physical health and safety and placed them at risk of serious physical harm, damage, danger, and neglect.

The Department's Detention Report stated that the juvenile court in a prior dependency case sustained a petition alleging mother's and father's history of substance abuse and current use of methamphetamine placed the children at risk of physical and emotional harm and damage, terminated father's reunification services, and awarded mother custody of A.Z. On October 4, 2017, the Department received a referral stating that mother left the children with maternal grandmother, who was intoxicated every day; the children were not attending school; mother used crystal methamphetamine daily with the children in the home; the children stayed up all night and looked “run down”; and “a lot of guys” were “in and out” of mother's house. On October 6, 2017, the Department received a second referral that reported the children had missed 60 percent of the school year; when they attended, they were late; and the school had received several anonymous calls about mother's drug use and purported prostitution. A Department social worker met with the principal of the children's school and attempted, unsuccessfully, to meet with mother.

On October 10, 2017, the Department received a third referral concerning mother's care of the children, her drug use, and her depression. Mother was seldom home, the home was not clean, and mother failed to attend to the children's needs or hygiene. The children were hungry and went door to door asking for food, money, milk, and diapers. There had been no electricity in the apartment for five weeks. The social worker was unable to contact the family.

On October 20, 2017, the Department received a fourth referral reporting mother's general neglect and emotional abuse of the children. The children played outside and in the pool without adult supervision, mother may have been using drugs, and mother and maternal grandmother had engaged in a physical altercation in the children's presence.

On October 23, 2017, the social worker spoke with the paternal grandmother. She reported that mother had not provided for the children in a long time. The children had very little structure or discipline. They had head lice and mother made no attempt to clean them. The children often wore dirty clothes and no underwear. Paternal grandmother reported that mother was “involved with gangs and drugs and other things.” Paternal grandmother said the children had been very well coached not to disclose abuse or neglect to the Department or police.

On October 27, 2017, the social worker successfully contacted mother by telephone. The social worker informed mother that the Department had a removal order for the children...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP