Case Law, Forms & Information

Here are the latest California Cases. We now have podcasts up to assist you with the meaning of some of the more important cases listed herein. You will find them at Divorce In A Minute.com :

You will also find links to the Mandatory California Superior Court Forms. They will be in PDF format. You will need a PDF reader. If you do not have a PDF reader download one for free here: Adobe.com

California State Mandatory and Optional Family Law Forms: Filing Forms:

Los Angeles Superior Court Mandatory and Optional Forms: LA Superior Court Forms:

You will also find forms specially designed by our office to make completing your mandatory forms and informational gathering much simpler. Our clients will have access to private areas of this site and many of our forms are available free to all without being a client. For some forms a special code will be necessary, to get the code for items such as videos, audios, books, booklets and articles you simply need to sign in to our email system. You will not want to miss the audio, video and email updates, together with special gifts and offers. We are excited about new links to Social Media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, about which will we keep you fully informed.

Just follow the instructions to access audios, videos, booklets, forms and courses you wish to access.

We are licensed to practice law in the State of California only, so all items available are specific to California family law actions only. No attempt here has been made to give you legal advice. No attorney Client Relationship is formed or intended. We seek to enlighten, educate, inform and entertain you, and eventually you’ll see we know our stuff.

All the best,

Robert Borsky, Esq. and Staff

Sign Up For our Special Reports, Booklets, Audios and Videos and our Library List!

:

Here are the latest California Cases. Remember to sign up now in the box to the right, as we now have podcasts to assist you with the meaning of the more important cases listed herein. Click on the Divorce In A Minute.com link above!:

2017 Latest Cases

In re A.G. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 6/16/17) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Father’s arrest and deportation alone render agency’s failure to provide court-ordered reunification services reasonable.
 
Webb v. Webb (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 6/13/17) [Family Law]
In a dissolution proceeding, the trial court did not have authority to award sanctions in the form of attorney fees to the wife’s former attorneys because they were not parties to the action.
 
In re David B. (First Dist., Div. Four, 6/7/17) [Family Law]
Because appellant in juvenile dependency action was over 18 and dependency jurisdiction may be initiated only if under 18 years of age, appeal dismissed as moot.
 
In re Jesse S. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 6/7/17) [Family Law]
Because couple who adopted appellant when he was a minor were receiving adoption assistance payments on appellant’s behalf he was precluded reentry into the juvenile dependency system.
 
In re A.K. (Third Dist., 6/5/17) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Beneficial relationship exception to adoption did not apply when minor’s relationship with mother and/or father did not constitute significant, positive emotional relationship such that severance would be detrimental to child.
 
Stover v. Bruntz (Third Dist., 5/30/17) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Court may not award child care credits for periods preceding date of modification motion.
 
In re Marriage of Janes (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 5/23/17) [Family Law]
Family court can award wife post-dissolution gains on sum in husband’s retirement account that was previously awarded, but not conveyed, to her.
 
In re Marriage of Minkin (Fourth Dist., Div. Three., 4/24/17) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
“Annual bonus” language in stipulated judgment meant discretionary performance-based payment by spouse’s employer, not any payment received above base salary.
 
In re Marriage of Stupp and Schilders (First Dist., Div. Two, 5/18/17) [Family Law]
Family court abused its discretion in ordering the vocational evaluation when no support motion was pending.
 
In re Marriage of Grissom (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 5/16/17) [Family Law]
Non-aggressor spouse who employed reasonable force to defend self against aggressor spouse did not commit abuse under the Domestic Violence Protection Act.
 
In re Priscilla A. (Second Dist., Div. One, 5/4/17) [Family Law]
Dependency jurisdiction was improper because daughter, who had difficulty settling into father’s family after coming to the U.S, was not abused, neglected, or exploited and father neither did nor failed to do anything to put her at risk of harm.
 
Gabrielle A. v. County of Orange (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 4/19/17) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Parents’ knowing and voluntary no contest pleas to jurisdictional allegations during dependency proceedings barred subsequent challenge to children’s detention.
 
In re J.S. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 4/18/17) [Family Law]
Trial court erred in prohibiting questioning regarding the minor’s bond with his sibling as a possible basis for finding the sibling relationship exception to the termination of parental rights.
 
In re Marriage of Huntley (Third Dist., 4/17/17) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Family Code §2556 gives the trial court continuing jurisdiction to divide omitted or unadjudicated community property without requiring a motion to set aside the judgment of dissolution.
 
In re Marriage of Djulus (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 4/14/17) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Record in dissolution action did not support application of tantamount stipulation doctrine and required reversal of all orders made by court commissioner.
 
In re J.L. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 4/12/17) [Family Law, Native Americans]
Notice and inquiry provisions of the ICWA were not violated in properly terminating parental rights.

In re Matthew C. (First Dist., Div. Four, 3/17/17) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Juvenile court did not err in denying parental visitation during reunification period when mother’s unstable behavior represented continued threat to both herself and child.
 
Jason P. v. Danielle S. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 3/16/17) [Civil Rights, Contract Law, Family Law]
Court’s award of joint custody was premature because court had not yet received evidence that sperm donor (found to be presumed parent) had completed counseling requirements necessary to rebut domestic violence presumption against joint legal or physical custody.
 
Y.R. v. A.F. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 3/15/17) [Family Law]
Court’s failure to comply with statutory guideline requirements of child support mandates reversal, despite evidence sufficient to warrant deviation from guideline.
 
In re Hannah D. (Fifth Dist., 3/10/17) [Family Law]
There was no procedural error in the court’s order terminating parental rights and selecting adoption as the permanent plan for four siblings.
 
Yale v. Bowne (Second Dist., Div. Two, 3/10/17) [Attorneys, Family Law, Tort Law]
In a legal malpractice action against an attorney who prepared living trust documents, the trial court correctly gave a comparative fault instruction.
 
Johnny W. v. Superior Court (First Dist., Div. One, 3/9/17) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Juvenile court’s rulings at an initial detention hearing did not preclude father’s later motion to disqualify the assigned judge, because the rulings did not determine contested fact issues related to the merits.
 
In re Alayah J. (Second Dist., Div. Two, 3/8/17) [Family Law]
Juvenile court erred by conditioning evaluation of mother’s petition (seeking change in prior court order to allow unmonitored visits and assessment of her home) on non-termination of her parental rights, but no miscarriage of justice occurred and court affirmed termination order.
 
Gonzalez v. Santa Clara County Department of Social Services (Sixth Dist., 2/28/17) [Administrative Law, Attorneys, Civil Procedure, Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Despite lack of specificity in attorney fee declaration, trial court erred in completely denying request for fees, when attorney’s successful appeal of administrative order resulted in published decision clarifying relevant legal issue.

In re Marcus C. (Second Dist., Div. Two, 2/21/17) [Family Law]
Dismissal of a juvenile dependency action under Welf & I C §300 was unsupported by substantial evidence; juvenile court abused its discretion in denying a motion to amend the petition to conform to proof presented at the hearing.

In re Breanna S. (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 2/14/17) [Family Law, Native Americans]
After Indian Child Welfare Act adoption notice omitted required information, juvenile court must make a genuine effort to find that information and notice must be resent.

In re Grace P. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 2/10/17) [Family Law]
Juvenile court abused its discretion in denying the father a contested selection and implementation hearing to determine the applicability of the beneficial parent-child relationship exception.

In re Marriage of Schleich (Sixth Dist., 2/8/17) [Family Law]
Trial court erred in awarding both 50 percent of relevant community asset under Fam C 1101(g) and awarding same interest in same asset in division of community property.

In re M.R. (Second Dist., Div. Five, 2/1/17) [Family Law]
Mother’s arrest for driving under the influence with her two children in vehicle provided sufficient evidence of ongoing substantial risk of harm to children & supported dependency jurisdiction, particularly given that parents minimized seriousness of event & had not taken significant steps to participate in alcohol educational programs.

C.M. v. M.C. (Second Dist., Div. One, 1/26/17) [Family Law]
Court’s role on appeal is limited to reviewing whether the legislative requirements for establishing an enforceable surrogacy agreement were met.

In re Carl H. (First Dist., Div. Three, 1/24/17) [Family Law]
Dependency court’s findings that the mother caused the death of a sibling supported jurisdiction over minors and bypass of reunification services; court erred in dismissing petition as to child residing with his father at the time of the incidents.

In re Yolanda L. (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 1/24/17) [Family Law]
Evidence that father was arrested with three pounds of methamphetamine in his truck and that father kept a loaded handgun in the home in a location accessible to children supported dependency court’s jurisdictional findings; removal from the father and placement of the children with the non-offending mother was appropriate.

In re M.R. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 1/20/17) [Family Law, Juvenile Law, Native Americans]
Juvenile court did not have jurisdiction over children under Welf & I C §300(g), absent evidence that incarcerated father could not make arrangement for children’s care.

N.S. v. Superior Court (First Dist., Div. Four, 1/17/17) [Evidence, Family Law]
Non-minor dependent of the juvenile court did not tender the issue of her mental condition so as to waive the protection of the psychotherapist-patient privilege for her communications with the therapist, including the therapist’s diagnosis.

Anna M. v. Jeffrey E. (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 1/11/17) [Family Law]
Trial court did not abuse its discretion in failing to characterize child’s godfather’s gifts to mother as her income when calculating child support.

Mathews v. Harris (Second Dist., Div. Two, 1/9/17) [Constitutional Law, Family Law]
The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act’s mandated reporting requirements do not violate patients’ constitutional right to privacy.

In re Marriage of McLain (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 1/6/17) [Family Law]
Court considered goal of supported party becoming self-supporting at dissolution, but properly accorded greater weight to wife’s age as over 65 to award wife spousal support.

2016 Latest Cases

Sagonowsky v. Kekoa (First Dist., Div. Five., 12/21/16) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Family Code §271 sanctions are unavailable for conduct in increasing the cost of dissolution litigation, frustrating settlement, and reducing property’s sale price that were untethered to party’s attorney fees and costs incurred.

In re: Ray M. (Fourth Dist., Div. One., 12/16/16) [Family Law, Juvenile Law, Native Americans]
Juvenile court failed to comply with ICWA notice requirements when it failed to inquire as to child’s possible Native American status despite father’s statement that child may have Cherokee heritage.

In re D.R. (Second Dist., Div. Eight., 12/14/16) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
In formulating a permanent plan there wasn’t substantial evidence supporting court’s rationale for selecting legal guardianship instead of adoption.

B.B. v. Superior Court (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 12/9/16) [Family Law]
The social services agency failed to follow the proper procedure to terminate the guardianship and set a new permanency planning hearing for the minor but the father suffered no prejudice from the error.

In re Marriage of Schu (Second Dist., Div. Six, 12/6/16) [Family Law]
Court may consider evidence of fault when deciding spousal support despite No Fault Divorce law, particularly when spouse seeking support is guilty of domestic violence.

In re J.S. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 12/5/16) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Court acted within its discretion in designating juvenile as dual status youth, as both a dependent and ward of the court.

In re Marriage of Usher (Second Dist., Div. Four, 12/2/16) [Family Law]
Based on ex-husband’s overall wealth, reduction in employment income did not materially impair his ability to pay agreed upon child support.

In re Charlotte V. (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 11/29/16) [Family Law, Juvenile Law, Native Americans]
County’s notices to tribe containing information regarding child’s mother, father, grandmother, and uncle were sufficient under ICWA.

In re O.C. (First Dist., Div. One, 11/22/16) [Family Law]
The social services agency failed to give notice to all Pomo-affiliated tribes requiring a limited remand to give proper notice and conduct a hearing to determine compliance with the ICWA notice requirements and the children’s status.

N.M. v. Superior Court (First Dist., Div. Four, 11/17/16) [Family Law]
Juvenile court properly found that returning children to mother would create substantial risk of detriment to them and court need not find that mother had received reasonable reunification services before setting permanency review hearing.

In re Z.G. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 11/17/16) [Family Law]
After correctly finding that minor’s death was attributable to parents’ neglect, court erred in holding that reunification with parents was in children’s best interest, particularly since parents did not avail themselves of 11 months of prior reunification services.

In re Marriage of Hernandez (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 11/16/16) [Family Law]
Even though there were attempts at reconciliation, substantial evidence supported court’s finding of abuse under Domestic Violence Protection Act.

In re Isaiah S. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 11/10/16) [Family Law]
Parent who did not show that reversal of the juvenile court’s placement decision would advance her argument against terminating parental rights lacks standing to challenge relative placement preference issues.

In re Anthony Q. (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 11/8/16) [Family Law]
Because disposition order removing child from father’s physical custody was error but harmless, disposition order affirmed.

In re M.Z. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 11/3/16) [Family Law]
Court correctly denied plaintiff’s request to be declared a third parent where no existing parent-child relationship had been shown.

In re Marriage of Cassinelli (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 11/2/16) [Family Law]
After military spouse makes postjudgment waiver of retired pay (to receive disability benefits and combat-related special compensation), court may order military spouse to reimburse civilian spouse (albeit not directly out of disability benefits and not as spousal support).

In re T.M. (Third Dist., 11/2/16) [Family Law]
Juvenile court properly denied father visitation with child, because visitation judged to be potentially harmful to child’s emotional and physical health and because father had not addressed his serious anger management issues.

In re Marriage of Wilson (First Dist., Div. Four, 10/27/16) [Family Law]
Family court had discretion to determine whether it would be inequitable to allow the mother to enforce the child support order for the period during which the child was living with the paternal grandparents.

S.P. v. F.G. (Second Dist., Div. Five, 10/27/16) [Family Law]
Trial court rationally deviated from the statewide uniform child support guideline amount and properly ordered support that was not only in the best interest of the child but also provided a standard of living consistent with that of a financially privileged child.

Mealing v. Diane Harkey for Board of Equalization 2014 (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 10/24/16) [Civil Procedure, Elections, Family Law]
Judgment gained against husband cannot be satisfied by a creditor suit against wife’s campaign funds because she is not a judgment debtor.

In re Alexander P. (First Dist., Div. One, 10/21/16) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Because Welf & I C §316.2 grants exclusive jurisdiction over paternity issues to juvenile court upon filing of dependency petition, family court order regarding paternity issued after filing was void.

In re R.L. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 10/14/16) [Family Law]
Home state jurisdiction is not conferred under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act by either a temporary hospital stay in a state incident to birth or a social services agency’s emergency protective custody over a child.

In re Julien H. (Second Dist., Div. One, 10/4/16) [Family Law]
Erroneous reliance on Fam C §361(c) to limit visitation rights of parent with whom child did not reside was not prejudicial.

In re Marriage of Cohen (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 10/3/16) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
After a stipulated divorce judgment, the court correctly denied the high earner’s request to modify child support amounts down to a guideline amount and his request to terminate spousal support after his ex-wife’s remarriage.

In re Logan B. (Second Dist., Div. One, 10/3/16) [Family Law]
Parents were properly required to prove a compelling reason why termination of parental rights would be detrimental to their son and failed to meet the parental relationship exception where he expressed a desire for adoption.

In re Michael S. (Second Dist., Div. One, 9/30/16) [Family Law]
In removal proceeding child may be removed from one custodial parent and put in the sole custody of the other custodial parent.

M.C. v. Superior Court (First Dist., Div. One, 9/29/16) [Family Law]
Juvenile court improperly exercised its Welf & I C §361.5 discretion in terminating mother’s reunification services at the six-month review hearing and setting the matter for a permanency hearing absent a §388 petition.
In re Marriage of Chapman (Third Dist., 9/27/16) [Family Law]
Spouse’s unilateral election to change from one type of military benefit to another may not defeat community property interest of other spouse set forth in marital settlement agreement.

In re Marriage of Nassimi (Second Dist., Div. Four, 9/26/16) [Family Law]
Because the obligations arising from the sale of a business operated by the husband were incurred during the marriage, the community estate was liable for the expenses of litigation arising from a lawsuit seeking rescission filed after dissolution.

Celia S. v. Hugo H. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three., 9/23/16) [Family Law]
Abuse of discretion awarding parent convicted of domestic violence equal time with children without requiring him to establish that it was in the children’s best interest.

In re Korbin Z. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 9/19/16) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Court erred in delegating child sole authority to determine whether Father may visit him.

Rothstein v. Superior Court (Second Dist., Div. Five, 9/16/16) [Business Law, Contract Law, Civil Procedure, Family Law, Tort Law]
A judicial disqualification motion filed in civil case, which was related to earlier-filed dissolution case (where assigned judge resolved disputed factual issue), requires transfer of only later-filed case to another judge.

In re A.F. (Third Dist., 9/13/16) [Family Law]
Evidence of substantial risk of harm due to parental mental illness and substance abuse supported court’s jurisdictional findings and removal orders.

Pratt v. Ferguson (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 9/6/16) [Family Law, Wills and Trusts]
Notwithstanding a trust’s shutdown clause, a trial court has discretion to order a trustee to make distributions to satisfy final child support orders.

Adoption of Reed H. (Third Dist., 9/6/16) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
In an action to terminate parental rights, biological father’s notice of appeal was untimely and motion to dismiss granted.

J.F. v. Superior Court (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 8/30/16) [Family Law]
Trial court erred in terminating reunification services on a finding of clear and convincing evidence of a lack of substantive progress based on mother’s inability to articulate steps of 12-step program where there was evidence of other substantive progress.

Phillips v. Campbell (Second Dist., Div. Six, 8/23/16) [Family Law]
Trial court properly found parties were in a “dating relationship” within the meaning of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act even though the parties characterized their relationship as one that did not involve dating as that term is commonly understood.

In re S.N. (Third Dist., 8/17/16) [Family Law]
Juvenile court judge failed to obtain a valid waiver of the mother’s right to a contested jurisdictional hearing but the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt given the overwhelming evidence supporting a finding of jurisdiction.

Ellis v. Lyons (Second Dist., Div. Five, 8/11/16) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Court abused discretion in denying sole custody to mother who had obtained Massachusetts domestic violence prevention protective order against father.

In re: Alexander P. (First Dist., Div. One., 7/29/16) [Family Law]
In dependency action, two of the three presumed fathers’ status was nullified because the family court order on which the juvenile court relied upon was void.

Heidi S. v. David H. (Second Dist., Div. One, 7/28/16) [Family Law]
Family court may consider evidence prior to party’s request to modify exit order to determine if there is habitual, frequent, or continual illegal use of controlled substances or habitual or continual abuse of alcohol by party and may order additional drug and alcohol testing as condition for increased visitation.

In re Armando L. (Fifth Dist., 7/14/16) [Family Law]
Juvenile court improperly denied mother of dependent of the court an evidentiary hearing on the issues of granting father custody and terminating the court’s jurisdiction.

In re Abbigail A. (Supreme Court, 7/14/16) [Family Law, Native Americans]
State rules can direct the juvenile court to pursue tribal membership only for a child who is already an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Anne H. v. Michael B. (First Dist., Div. One, 7/12/16) [Family Law]
Statement in custody order specifying changed circumstances requiring a reconsideration of custody arrangement not binding on subsequent judges.

Perez v. Torres-Hernandez (First Dist., Div. Four, 7/11/16) [Family Law]
Renewal of a domestic violence restraining order does not require new evidence of physical abuse or threatened abuse.

In re Alexandria P. (Second Dist., Div. Five., 7/8/16) [Adoption Law, Family Law, Native Americans]
No good cause to depart from Indian Child Welfare Act’s adoptive placement preferences; proper to place Choctaw child with her extended family.

In re Isaiah W. (Supreme Court, 7/7/16) [Family Law, Native Americans]
A parent who did not timely appeal from a juvenile court placement order that subsumed a finding of the ICWA’s inapplicability may challenge that finding when appealing from a subsequent order terminating parental rights.

In re Miguel S. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 6/17/16) [Family Law]
The order terminating parental rights is reversed for the limited purpose of allowing SSA to make active efforts necessary to secure tribal membership for the children, in compliance with rules 5.482(c) and 5.484(c)(2) of the California Rules of Court.

In re K.L. (First Dist., Div. Four, 6/13/16) [Family Law]
Juvenile court did not err by denying without an evidentiary hearing a mother’s changed-circumstances petition to modify children’s placements and finding one child adoptable.

Yolo County Dept. of Child Support Services (Third Dist., 6/13/16) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Appellant did not establish invalidity of default child support judgment due to alleged fraud, faulty service, or judicial bias.

Alex R. v. Superior Court (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 6/13/16) [Family Law, Immigration Law]
A minor filing a parentage action as a prerequisite for special immigrant juvenile status can have a guardian ad litem appointed without giving notice to the presumptive father with whom he has never lived.

Adoption of K.C. (Second Dist., Div. Six, 6/10/16) [Family Law]
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) does not apply to adoptions.

In re Noah G. (Second Dist., Div. Five, 6/6/16) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
Termination of mother’s parental rights was proper when mother failed to show benefits from her relationship with children outweighed those they would gain from permanent adoption by grandmother.

Elena S. v. Kroutik (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 5/18/16) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
By participating in hearing before commissioner concerning domestic violence restraining order, appellant impliedly consented to commissioner’s adjudication of matter.

Conservatorship of Bower (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 5/16/16) [Family Law, Wills and Trusts]
Probate court erroneously ordered community property divided to pay for conservatee’s living expenses; order dividing the estate reversed and remanded.

In re D.O. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 5/3/16) [Family Law]
In termination of parental rights action, no error by court not considering the sibling relationship exception because caregiver assured sibling visits would continue.

In re Marriage of Hall and Frencher (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 4/29/16) [Family Law]
Family court erred by ruling that appellant (who was receiving Social Security benefits) owed over $11,000 in child support arrears because excess Social Security derivative benefits should have been applied to the arrears.

A.G. v. C.S. (Third Dist., 4/27/16) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Doctrine of implied findings applies; court did not err in awarding sole custody to father.

In re Nia A. (First Dist., Div. Three, 4/27/16) [Family Law]
Dependency cases transferred without consideration of the children’s’ best interests must be remanded to the transferring county, even though the receiving county is providing services.

In re Isabella G. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 4/18/16) [Family Law]
A relative who requests placement of a child before the dispositional hearing and does not receive a home placement assessment is entitled to a hearing under Welf & I C §361.3 without petitioning under Welf & I C §388.

Martinez v. Vaziri (Sixth Dist., 4/8/16) [Family Law]
Trial court improperly, narrowly construed statute to find petitioner’s presumed, third-parent status rebutted when it made two-parent, no detriment determination; case remanded for reconsideration.

In re A.K. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 4/5/16) [Family Law]
In removal proceeding, evidence established that father suffered from substance abuse and that removal was the only means of protecting daughter.

In re H.R. (Second Dist., Div. Eight., 3/25/16) [Family Law]
In light of conflicting evidence, court did not err awaiting genetic testing resuts to prove biological paternity and only finding father alleged father.

In re Marriage of Murchison (Second Dist., Div. One, 3/17/16) [Attorneys, Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Husband in divorce proceedings lacked standing to disqualify wife’s attorney for a potential ethical violation; no grounds support disqualification when client wants to continue representation and opposing party cannot demonstrate harm.

In re A.S. (First Dist., Div. Four, 3/16/16) [Family Law]
Juvenile ward’s probation condition requiring her to submit her electronics, including her passwords, to warrantless searches by probation department and law enforcement was reasonable and constitutional, because condition was reasonably related to preventing her future criminal conduct and to need for supervision of her daily activities.

Bianka M. v. Superior Court (Second Dist., Div. Three, 3/2/16) [Family Law, Immigration Law]
The Uniform Parentage Act does not allow a court to make factual findings concerning parental abuse, neglect, or abandonment absent a finding of parentage.

In re Marriage of Obrecht (Sixth Dist., 2/24/16) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Absent a reporter’s transcript, spouse’s appearance is presumed to constitute a general submission to the court’s jurisdiction over the person.
In re Marriage Shimkus (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 2/18/16) [Family Law]
Trial court had to consider all of the applicable factors to find a material change of circumstances, issue a statement of decision, and make findings as to its denial of attorney fees.

In re Donovan L. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 2/11/16) [Family Law]
Absent existing relationship between child and putative third parent, court erred in finding that recognizing only two parents would be detrimental to child under Fam C §7612.

In re E.R. (First Dist., Div. Four, 2/8/16) [Family Law]
The juvenile court committed only harmless errors in in failing to recognize the Indian custodian status of an individual whose custodianship was revoked by the minors’ mother three months after proceedings commenced.

Stuard v. Stuard (Third Dist., 2/5/16) [Constitutional Law, Family Law]
Parental fitness does not absolutely bar grandparent visitation order, when safeguarding pre-existing grandparent-grandchild relationship is in best interest of child.

2015 Latest Cases

In re Liam L. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 9/30/15) [Family Law]
Noncustodial parent did not file a petition requesting custody but this was harmless because issue of placement was before the court with consent of all parties.

In re Marriage of Walker (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 9/29/15) [Bankruptcy, Family Law]
In course of dissolution and bankruptcy proceedings, the proceeds of a community property home sale are to be distributed equally, despite one spouse’s debt discharge by bankruptcy court.

In re Emma B. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 9/29/15) [Family Law]
In dependency proceeding a biological paternity determination is not an essential or relevant issue in determining presumed father status.

In re D.P. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 9/22/15) [Family Law]
Juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in denying father’s request for paternity testing and in finding that father was merely an alleged father, based on the evidence before the juvenile court.

Michaels v. Turk (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 8/31/15) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Domestic violence restraining order issued against defendant is void because she did not consent to a commissioner presiding over hearing.

In re Marriage of Brandes (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 8/31/15) [Family Law]
Because wife’s separate estate would likely increase on remand, the issue of spousal support could not be resolved until that time.

In re D.B. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 8/26/15) [Family Law]
Dependency case remanded with directions to terminate dependency jurisdiction and to consider appropriate protective and visitation orders.

In re K.B. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 8/24/15) [Family Law]
Substantial evidence supported court’s dispositional order removing child from mother’s custody and granting placement with noncustodial father.

In re Marriage of Siegel (First Dist., Div. Two, 8/21/15) [Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Family Law]
Appellant was denied due process when family court held a hearing and made orders on issues beyond the relief requested by his ex-wife.

In re A.C. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 8/17/15) [Family Law, Native Americans]
In an action challenging termination of parental rights and ICWA issues, there was no prejudicial error or abuse of discretion.

In re Anthony (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 8/12/15) [Family Law]
A father who had not maintained sobriety or provided a stable environment failed to show a parent-child bond sufficient to invoke the statutory beneficial parental relationship exception to adoption.

In re I.B. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 8/11/15) [Family Law, Native Americans]
Under ICWA, party seeking to place Native American child in foster care must send updated notices to relevant tribes when additional information concerning child’s ancestors is obtained after original notices were sent.

Alameda County Social Services Agency v. Alberto C. (First Dist., Div. Two, 8/7/15) [Constitutional Law, Evidence, Family Law]
Juvenile court properly admitted minor’s hearsay statements under Welf & I C §355 based on finding that video recording of statements bore sufficient indicia of reliability.

In re Joshua A. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 8/5/15) [Family Law]
Because placement was not in child’s best interests, notwithstanding mother’s boyfriend’s status as an nonrelative extended family member, court not required to direct Agency to complete its evaluation of his home.

In re A.J. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 8/4/15) [Family Law]
Juvenile court need not have made a finding of detriment before denying father visits with child during guardianship.

Isidora M. v. Silvino M. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 7/31/15) [Family Law]
Trial court may issue a mutual domestic violence restraining order under Fam C §6305 only if both parties have filed requests for such relief.

In re Marriage of Olson (Second Dist., Div. One, 7/30/15) [Family Law]
Even after entry of default judgment against parent, that parent has standing to request modification of child custody judgment, because court’s primary concern must be children’s well-being.

In re M.W. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 7/30/15) [Family Law]
Even though mother failed to obtain emergency protective order after single domestic violence incident (occurring more than 7 years before hearing), children were not placed at risk of current physical harm.

In re Marriage of Oliverez (Sixth Dist., 7/24/15) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
After a reassignment of a case, the new judge could not reconsider the prior judge’s finding that a marital settlement agreement was unenforceable.

Marshall v. County of San Diego (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 7/22/15) [Family Law, Government Law]
Social workers have qualified immunity with respect to reports recommending that foster child’s placement with plaintiff be terminated.

In re Marriage of Davis (Supreme Court, 7/20/15) [Family Law]
Spouses living together in the same home cannot be “living separate and apart” for purpose of determining whether property was acquired after separation under Fam C §771(a).

Altafulla v. Ervin (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 7/7/15) [Constitutional Law, Family Law]
Defendant’s email campaign against his domestic partner and emotionally abusive statements to her children support a DVPA restraining order; DVPA is not unconstitutional.

In re Marriage of Evilsizor and Sweeney (First Dist., Div. One, 6/24/15) [Family Law]
Restraining order prohibiting husband from disseminating wife’s downloaded cell phone information did not violate husband’s constitutional rights to free speech.

People v. DeJongh (Second Dist., Div. Four, 6/18/15) [Criminal Law, Family Law]
Defendants’ convictions for child custody deprivation proper, because defendants defied stipulated court order to take children for extended visit with paternal grandparents (who were not party to underlying family law proceedings) and instead, took children to Mexico.

In re D.P. (Sixth Dist., 6/16/15) [Family Law]
In affirming dependency, the court held substantial evidence supported juvenile court’s jurisdictional finding child suffered or risked suffering serious emotional damage.

In re Marriage of Lafkas (Second Dist., Div. Five, 6/16/15) [Family Law, Real Property]
When a spouse places separate property in joint title form, transmutation requirements must be satisfied before the joint title presumption applies.

Jane J. v. Superior Court (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 6/16/15) [Family Law]
Court abused its discretion by failing to consider relevant factors in granting custody to out-of-state noncustodial parent.

A.M. v. Superior Court (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 6/8/15) [Family Law]
Although challenged order is not appealable, the court may use discretion to treat appeal as a writ petition.

Mira Overseas Consulting LTD v. Muse Family Enterprises, LTD (Second Dist., Div. Two, 6/2/15) [Civil Procedure, Family Law, Real Property]
A judgment granting a fraudulent transfer claim, as well as monetary damages, relates back to the date on which the claimants recorded a lis pendens.

In re N.L. (Second Dist., Div. Five, 5/21/15) [Family Law]
Absent any evidence that mother engaged in violent or dangerous conduct toward child, court erred in including child as protected member in father’s restraining order against mother.

Faton v. Ahmedo (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 5/15/15) [Attorneys, Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Court could award prevailing party attorney fees after issuing domestic violence restraining order even though fee request was not included in Judicial Council DVRO petition form.

In re M.M. (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 5/12/15) [Criminal Law, Family Law]
Juvenile court erred in holding contested jurisdiction and disposition hearing without presence of incarcerated parent.

In re P.R. (Third Dist., 5/12/15) (Third Dist., 5/12/15) [Family Law, Native Americans]
Because mother did not argue that parental rights were improperly terminated, mother lacked standing to challenge juvenile court’s placement decision.

In re Marriage of Honer (First Dist., Div. Four, 5/6/15) [Family Law]
In marital dissolution case, court properly valued couple’s two grocery stores using “marital value” rather than “investment value,” as advocated by expert of husband, because it did not produce result significantly different from fair market value.

In re Ethan J. (Fifth Dist., 5/6/15) [Family Law]
After juvenile court ordered child’s legal guardianship to grandmother and included visitation for mother, and after dependent child refused to participate in visitation, court abused its discretion by terminating dependency jurisdiction knowing that its visitation order would not be honored.

In re Briana V. (Second Dist., Div. Two, 4/28/15) [Family Law]
In dependency action court did not abuse its discretion in ordering father to attend sexual abuse counseling.

Estate of Britel (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 4/23/15) [Family Law, Wills and Trusts]
Probate Code §6453(b)(2)’s phrase, “openly held out,” requires the alleged father to have made an unconcealed affirmative representation of paternity in open view.

In re M.M. (Third Dist., 3/11/15) [Adoption Law, Family Law]
Current caretaker who met criteria to be prospective adoptive parent under Welf & I C §366.26 was entitled to notice and hearing prior to juvenile court’s removal of child.

In re A.R. (Sixth Dist., 4/9/15) [Family Law]
Although court abused its discretion by making removal findings after unmarried father left home, changed circumstances (father was not engaged in family maintenance services and was not progressing to sobriety) were sufficient to support modification of prior order and discontinuation of family maintenance services to father.

Ellis v. Ellis (Second Dist., Div. Four, 4/2/15) [Family Law]
The time for a spouse to appeal runs from the original judgment of dissolution not subsequent modifications.

In re Z.S. (Second Dist., Div. One, 4/1/15) [Family Law]
Father’s appeal from order terminating his parental rights was untimely filed and despite father’s incarceration, doctrine of constructive filing does not apply.

Winternitz v. Winternitz (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 3/27/15) [Family Law]
Trial court properly weighed LaMusga factors in denying mother’s move-away request and changing custody to father, when planned move would cause substantial detriment to child.

In re Jonathan B. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 3/13/15) [Family Law]
Jurisdictional findings against mother were unsupported by substantial evidence because, by filing a police report and obtaining an ERO, she took the proper actions to protect her children after father’s unforeseen assault on her.

In re Jesus M. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 3/13/15) [Family Law]
Juvenile court jurisdiction under Welf & I C §300(b) was not supported by father’s harassment of mother in violation of a restraining order, which placed children at risk of only emotional, not physical, harm.

In re Marriage of Rifkin and Carty (First Dist., Div. Four, 3/6/15) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Challenges to an order declaring father in a custody dispute a vexatious litigant were untimely because not raised in an appeal from that order, rather than from a later order denying his application to vacate; court would reject those challenges on the merits.

In re Priscilla D. (Fifth Dist., 3/4/15) [Family Law]
So long as parental rights have not been terminated, parent can terminate legal guardianship by using Welf & I C §388 petition, because parent has continuing right to petition court for modification of any of its orders based on changed circumstances or new evidence.

In re Roxanne B. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 2/25/15) [Family Law]
Juvenile court properly found jurisdiction over child, because child was suffering from serious emotional damage and parents’ lack of concern placed her at risk of suffering future serious emotional damage.

In re H.G. (Second Dist., Div. Six, 2/24/15) [Family Law, Native Americans]
Because juvenile court incorrectly assumed federal definition of “Indian” did not include Eskimos, order terminating parental rights reversed.

In re Marriage of M.A and M.A. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 2/24/15) [Family Law]
Order granting mother’s attorney fees in child support action affirmed; however, other orders granted are reversed and remanded because granting commissioner was disqualified at the time.

In re Emily D. (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 2/17/15) [Family Law, Civil Procedure]
Juvenile court did not deny mother right to due process by allegedly assuming the role of prosecutor or advocate in contested child dependency action.

Eddie E. v. Superior Court (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 2/11/15) [Family Law, Government Law, Immigration Law]
Undocumented immigrant is eligible for special immigrant juvenile status, because one parent (his mother, now deceased) abandoned him and it is not in juvenile’s best interest to return to Mexico, his home country (as he has lived his entire life in U.S.).

Andrew V. v. Superior Court (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 2/9/15) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Trial court must hold full adversarial hearing before, not after, issuing any out-of-state move-away order, whether permanent or temporary.

Blumberg v. Minthorne (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 2/4/15) [Family Law, Real Property]
Given family trustee’s despicable and flagrant violation of court’s orders, disentitlement doctrine required dismissal of trustee’s appeal.

R.M. v. T.A. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 1/27/15) [Family Law]
No infringement on a biological parent’s substantive due process rights by extending parental status to a non-biological presumed parent.

In re Angelina E. (Second Dist., Div. One, 1/22/15) [Family Law, Government Law]
Even though commissioner’s name was not stated in individual order as referee, presiding judge cross-assigned her as referee and thus she was authorized to hear mother’s juvenile dependency case.

Ocegueda v. Perreira (Third Dist., 1/5/15) [Family Law]
In custody action, court determined that because child lived from birth in Hawaii with his mother, Hawaii had home state jurisdiction.

2014 Case Law

Lappe v. Superior Court (Second Dist., Div. Three, 12/19/14) [Family Law]
Mandatory financial disclosures in marital dissolution are not “prepared for purpose of mediation” to fall within mediation confidentiality evidence exclusion.

Daugherty v. Daugherty (First Dist., Div. Four, 12/15/14) [Family Law]
Court properly excluded children’s derivative Social Security disability benefits in calculating father with disability’s income.

Adoption of Baby Boy W. v. A.H. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 12/15/14) [Adoption Law, Family Law]
Under Kelsey S., biological father who is not presumed father under Fam C §7611 retains constitutional right to establish himself as quasi-presumed father in promptly assuming parental responsibilities and may block child’s adoption.

In re Maya L. (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 12/8/14) [Family Law]
Court did not abuse its discretion in awarding custody of minor to father during six-month review hearing when overwhelming evidence suggested that father took excellent care of daughter and that father and daughter enjoyed strong and healthy bond.

Adoption of I.M. (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 12/5/14) [Juvenile Law, Family Law]
Stepfather may adopt stepdaughter without consent of father because mother had sole custody and father had willfully failed to communicate with and provide support for the child for over one year.

In re Marriage of McHugh (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 11/26/14) [Family Law]
The trial court properly imputed income in calculating child support because there was substantial evidence that the parent could have kept his higher paying job and that he voluntarily terminated his job in order to reduce child support obligations.

Leslie O. v. Superior Court (Second Dist., Div. One, 11/25/14) [Family Law]
Lower court erred in finding insufficient evidence of bias and denying motion to remove child custody evaluator.

Helgestad v. Varga (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 11/18/14) [Family Law]
Equitable considerations that apply to support orders arising out of marital cases also apply to support orders arising out of paternity cases.

In re Marriage of Schu (Second Dist., Div. Six, 11/12/14) [Family Law]
Court had jurisdiction to award spousal support after wife’s release from prison under a marital settlement provision that it would retain jurisdiction “until” her release.

In re Marriage of Fajota (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 10/30/14) [Family Law]
Trial court abused its discretion In awarding joint custody to a father who had committed domestic violence against the mother, without applying the mandatory rebuttable presumption in Fam C §3044.

In re A.B. (First Dist., Div. One, 10/29/14) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
In dependency action, mother had no absolute due process right to contested evidentiary hearings before the court could deny her family reunification services.

Evilsizor v. Sweeney (First Dist., Div. One, 10/28/14) [Banking Law, Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Court may impose sanctions against a litigant for pursuing a motion to quash, although legitimately filed, rendered unnecessary by a subsequent amendment or withdrawal of the subpoena.

In re D.S. (Sixth Dist., 10/27/14) [Family Law, Juvenile Law]
A biological father whose own criminal activities prevented him from demonstrating a full commitment to parental responsibilities did not qualify as a presumed father.

In re L.S. (Third Dist., 10/24/14) [Family Law, Native Americans]
Juvenile court’s failure to apply the proper burden of proof in ruling on the petitions for modification and the errors in the Indian Child Welfare Act notice require reversal.

In re D.H. (Third Dist., 10/16/14) [Family Law]
The evidence was insufficient to find that parent had not made reasonable efforts to treat the problems that led to the prior removal of minor’s siblings, because those problems were different from the current ones and the record does not establish any connection between the two.

In re Quentin H. (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 10/14/14) [Criminal Law, Family Law]
In dependency action father adequately rebutted the presumption of current dangerousness by identifying contrary evidence in the Department’s own reports.

In re D’Anthony D. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 10/3/14) [Constitutional Law, Family Law]
In dependency action, detriment finding must be made by clear and convincing evidence before a noncustodial parent is denied custody.

C.F. v. Superior Court (First Dist., Div. Four, 10/1/14) [Family Law, Native Americans]
In dependency action, substantial evidence supported the juvenile court’s finding that active efforts were made to prevent the breakup of the Indian family.

In re Ernesto R. (Second Dist., Div. Six, 10/1/14) [Attorneys, Family Law]
An attorney in a dependency case has no obligation to file a futile Welf & I C § 388 petition to modify an existing order.

In re Francisco D. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 9/29/14) [Family Law]
Child’s removal from adoptive mother’s custody was supported by substantial evidence of mother’s history of abusing other foster and adoptive children, including verbal and physical abuse of child’s recently deceased sibling.

C.S. v. W.O. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 9/26/14) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Although appellant received financial assistance from family and friends to expedite a court reporter’s transcript in a child custody proceeding, the court cannot deny a fee waiver to an applicant who met the statutory requirements.

Eneaji v. Ubboe (Second Dist., Div. Two, 9/25/14) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Request to renew a domestic violence prevention restraining order against a former spouse should have been granted even though no violence occurred in previous three years.

In re Michael H. (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 9/22/14) [Family Law]
Juvenile court orders affirming social worker’s decision not to commence dependency proceedings on behalf of petitioner’s children were not appealable orders.

In re Jaden E. (First Dist., Div. Four, 9/19/14) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
When minor is placed with previously noncustodial parent at disposition, reasonable reunification services finding need not be made at subsequent hearings monitoring that placement; mother’s reunification services properly terminated.

In re J.S. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 9/11/14) [Family Law]
California Rule of Court 5.482(c) improperly creates a new class of people eligible for Indian Child Welfare Act protections beyond tribal membership or being the child of a member.

In re Marriage of Kelkar (Second Dist., Div. One, 9/10/14) [Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Family Law]
Res judicata, waiver and equitable estoppel did not bar the retroactive application of Fam C §4325, which modified a stipulated judgment resulting in the termination of spousal support to the abusive spouse.

Christina L. v. Chauncey B. (First Dist., Div. Four, 9/9/14) [Family Law]
Court erred in awarding a father custody without properly considering the effect of a domestic violence restraining order against him and without finding changed circumstances justifying modification of its prior order.

Keisha W. v. Marvin M. (First Dist., Div. Five, 9/5/14) [Civil Procedure, Family Law]
Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the mother’s residence in California for six consecutive months established California as the child’s home state for the purpose of determining the California trial court’s jurisdiction over custody proceedings, despite the father’s taking of the child to another state immediately prior to the proceedings.

In re Marriage of Evans (Fifth Dist., 8/29/14) [Contract Law, Family Law]
Exchange of disclosure declarations is not required for pre-petition agreement to be enforceable, even when spouses make agreement in contemplation of dissolution.

In re J.P. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 8/26/14) [Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Family Law]
Juvenile court is not required to hold 6-month review hearing to determine whether reasonable services have been offered or provided to parent before it holds hearing on minor’s petition to terminate reunification services.

S.A. v. Maiden (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 8/21/14) [Attorneys, Family Law, Tort Law]
In malicious prosecution cause of action against wife’s attorney for her actions in initiating and maintaining wife’s requests for domestic violence restraining orders against husband, husband could not show probability he would prevail and court properly granted attorney’s anti-SLAPP motion to strike.

In re J.S. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 8/19/14) [Family Law]
Court properly denied father reunification services because he had been convicted of misdemeanor second degree sexual abuse in Kentucky, which was equivalent to California felony of lewd and lascivious act with child under 14.

In re Jayden M. (Third Dist., 8/19/14) [Adoption Law, Family Law]
Biological parents whose parental rights had been terminated lacked standing to challenge courts’ finding that three proposed relative placements were unsuitable.

In re Alexandria P. (Second Dist., Div. Five, 8/15/14) [Family Law]
The failure to consider the child’s bond with her foster family and her best interests is prejudicial error under the ICWA.

2014 latest Cases

In re D.B. (Second Dist., Div. One, 4/30/14) [Family Law]
Jurisdiction was established independently under a subsequent petition to declare defendant’s daughter a dependent of the court on entirely new and independent facts regarding the defendant’s failure to properly feed and care for her daughter.

In re Marriage of Boswell (Second Dist., Div. Six, 4/28/14) [Family Law]
Trial court was within its discretion to hold that Mother who disappeared with children and concealed them from Father for 15 years had unclean hands, and therefore could not collect child support arrears for that time period.

In re Marriage of Haugh (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 4/24/14) In re Marriage of Haugh [Family Law]
Trial court acted in excess of its authority when parents and son resided outside of California at the time of the modification.

In re Ashly F. (Second Dist., Div. One, 4/22/14) [Family Law]
An order removing children from their home must be reversed where the DCFS report and the court record do not discuss reasonable efforts made to prevent removal or alternative reasonable means of protection considered.

Drescher v. Gross (Second Dist., Div. Three, 4/11/14) [Family Law]
Parents may contractually limit the court’s jurisdiction to modify an adult child support order made pursuant to the parents’ agreement.

In re Marriage of Lin (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 4/10/14) [Civil Procedure; Family Law]
The restrained party’s personal presence when the restraining order is issued does not shorten the time limits for filing a notice of appeal.

In re Marriage of Metzger (Second Dist., Div. Three, 3/25/14) [Family Law]
Court did not violate father’s right to advance his daughter’s best interests by appointing counsel for her and ordering father to pay money to minor’s counsel.

K.F. v. Superior Court (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 3/25/14) [Family Law]
Court erred in denying parents reunification services under preponderance of evidence standard; proper standard is clear and convincing evidence.

In re Cristian I. (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 3/19/14) [Family Law]
Although California juvenile court failed to strictly observe procedures of Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) with Arizona court that had prior exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over minor, such errors were harmless in subject case.

Eneaji v. Ubboe (Second Dist., Div. Two, 3/18/14) [Family Law]
Non-serious violations of a DVPA restraining order coupled with a history of physical abuse can support renewal of the order; the feared future abuse need not be physical.

In re Gino C. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 3/14/14) [Family Law]
Juvenile court did not properly comply with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act before assuming permanent subject matter jurisdiction; judgment reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

Hauck v. Riehl (Second Dist., Div. Five, 3/11/14) [Family Law]
Father’s inclusion of child as a person to be protected by a DVPA injunction against stepfather did not confer jurisdiction, when stepfather’s only alleged abuse had been directed at father outside child’s presence.

In re A.M. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 3/10/14) [Family Law]
Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the children without contacting their home state of Mexico was error, but because the court had properly taken emergency jurisdiction over the children, the error was harmless.

In re Marriage of Gréaux and Mermin (First Dist., Div. Four, 2/14/14) [Family Law, Business Law]
A business noncompetition order may be issued in a divorce proceeding if evidence shows it is reasonably necessary to preserve the value of the asset awarded in the division of marital property.

Burquet v. Brumbaugh (Second Dist., Div. Five, 2/11/14) [Family Law]
For purposes of obtaining restraining orders under the Domestic Violence Protection Act “disturbing the peace of the other party” includes nonviolent conduct that destroys the other party’s mental or emotional calm.

In re Marriage of Boblitt (Third Dist., 2/7/14) [Family Law, Civil Procedure]
Wife who failed to file a motion for leave of court to conduct discovery after cut-off date had no “right” to discovery in connection with evidentiary hearing on a postjudgment motion, thus, she was not deprived of any discovery rights by the trial court’s ruling relating to the scope of the issues to be heard.

In re Marriage of Martin (Second Dist., Div. One, 2/6/14) [Civil Procedure; Family Law]
A court retains jurisdiction to enter a nunc pro tunc judgment if a party dies between the oral grant of dissolution and the entry of written judgment.

J.J. v. M.F. (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 2/6/14) [Civil Procedure; Family Law]
A single act of pushing away does not support a primary aggressor finding to support the issuance of mutual restraining order.

Bergeron v. Boyd (First Dist., Div. Four, 2/4/14) [Tort Law; Family Law]
The quasi-judicial privilege applied to a family court child custody evaluator’s acts in performing a court-ordered evaluation and making recommendations in a custody dispute.

In re Marriage of J.Q. and T.B. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 1/31/14) [Family Law]
In marital dissolution court erred in ruling it did not have jurisdiction to award spousal support until after it found whether husband abused wife.

Finberg v. Manset (Second Dist., Div. Six, 1/28/14) [Family Law, Constitutional Law]
The statutory exception to limits on grandparent visitation, otherwise applicable if the parents are married, that applies if the child was adopted by a stepparent does not violate equal protection.

In re Marriage of Sharples (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 1/22/14) [Family Law]
Wife was not required to file Judicial Council form FL-319 in order to receive attorney fees and cost pendente lite from husband where comparable declarations were submitted to the court as required under former Cal R Ct 5.93, which was in effect at the time of this case.

Lintz v. Lintz (Sixth Dist., 1/14/14) [Wills and Trusts, Family Law]
Complex trust and trust amendments required contractual, not testamentary, capacity; the evidence supported a judgment of undue influence against the surviving spouse.

In re G.L. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 1/10/14) [Family Law]
Although mother was properly denied reunification services with son, son had right to reunification services with mother.

In re the Marriage of Finby (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 1/8/14) [Family Law]
Trial court erred in characterization, valuation, and division of wife’s book of business and bonuses conditionally received or earned from her employer before the parties separated.

2013 Cases:

V.S. v. M.L. (First Dist., Div. Three, 12/27/13) [Family Law]
Although a presumed father of the child exists, a man alleging to be the father may bring an action to determine paternity.

In re S.B. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 12/20/13) [Family Law]
Father ineligible for reunification services because of status requiring him to register as sex offender.

Los Angeles County Dept. of Children and Family Services v. Superior Court (Second Dist., Div. Five, 12/17/13) [Family Law]
Time passed since a father’s conviction as sexually violent predator, his unconditional release, and the absence of current abuse did not overcome the presumption that his son was at substantial risk of sexual abuse.

In re Jovanni B. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 12/11/13) [Family Law]
The court must consider presumed father status of the man who was living with the mother when child was born and signed a voluntary declaration of paternity, but was not the biological father, and must investigate possible Indian ancestry.

In re Marriage of La Moure (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 12/11/13) [Family Law, Employment Law]
The pension plan of a spouse who used it to funnel community assets in violation of ATROs was not protected by ERISA from court orders barring disbursements.

In re Luke H. (Third Dist., 12/3/13) [Family Law]
The juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to grant a dependent minor’s modification petition for visitation with a nondependent sibling.

In re A.A. (Second Dist., Div. One, 11/21/13) [Family Law]
A father’s sexual abuse of an unrelated female alone is not substantial evidence that sons were also at risk justifying removal from home.

In re Suhey G. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 11/21/13) [Family Law]
Extraordinary writ granted to extent court set Welf & Inst C §366.26 custody hearing but denied father opportunity to present his case for relief.

Guardianship of D.W. (First Dist., Div. Four, 11/5/13) [Family Law]
The inquiry and notice conducted by a court that proceeded with a guardianship after only one of two tribes had completed its investigation into the minor’s possible membership did not comply with Indian Child Welfare Act requirements.

In re Marriage of Burwell (Fifth Dist., 10/31/13) [Family Law]
The characterization of term life insurance proceeds as separate or community property will depend on the premium for the final term of the policy.

Christina C. v. County of Orange (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 10/29/13) [Family Law]
Public employee immunity barred claims of mother and child against the county social services agency’s for placing child with his father before later returning child to mother, and there was no evidence that agency had acted improperly.

In re Marriage of Davis (First Dist., Div. One, 10/25/13) [Family Law]
In marital dissolution proceeding, date wife imposed strict segregation of the parties’ individual finances is the date of separation and not when she physically moved out of the family home.

In re Brianna M. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 10/24/13) [Family Law]
A voluntary declaration of paternity does not, as a matter of law, extinguish another man’s presumed father status for dependency purposes.

In re Marriage of Woolsey (Third Dist., 10/22/13) [Family Law]
There is no presumption of undue influence in marital settlement agreements reached as a result of voluntary mediation and the confidentiality rule precludes husband from submitting evidence of undue influence by wife in obtaining favorable marital settlement agreement.

In re Aiden G. (Second Dist., Div. One, 10/16/13) [Family Law]
Juvenile court erred in sustaining petition alleging mental instability of mother in child custody case because family court was the proper place to resolve such matters.

In re J.D. (First Dist., Div. Four, 9/25/13) [Family Law]
Juvenile court can terminate a predependency probate guardianship in response to a motion filed for the dependent minors, whether or not the social services agency that initiated the dependency proceedings recommends termination.

In re Abram L. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 9/4/13) [Family Law]
Juvenile court failed to make a finding whether noncustodial father was entitled to physical custody of the children unless placement with father would be detrimental to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the children.

In re C.Q. (Second Dist., Div. One, 9/3/13) [Family Law]
The evidence was insufficient to support including a father’s children as protected persons in the restraining order requiring him to stay away from their mother and the family home.

In re A.F. (First Dist., Div. Five, 8/27/13) [Family Law]
A successor guardian may be appointed after the death of the guardian of an adult former juvenile court dependent who is otherwise eligible to continue receiving public assistance until age 21.

In re Mary N.B. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 8/22/13) [Family Law]
Juvenile court properly found at a 6-month review hearing that returning a child to her father’s custody posed a risk of detriment.

Brewer v. Carter (Second Dist., Div. Five, 8/16/13) [Family Law]
Before a court determines that California is an inconvenient forum to resolve custody issues, the court must provide the parties with an opportunity to present evidence on the issue.

In re D.N. (Second Dist., Div. Four, 8/14/13) [Family Law]
Substantial evidence supports the juvenile court’s determination that notice was proper and Indian Child Welfare Act does not apply.

In re Marriage of Georgiou and Leslie (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 7/31/13) [Family Law]
In a breach of fiduciary duty action against her former husband, wife’s exclusive remedy was a set-aside action, and because she did not file her action within the one-year limitations period the family court lacked jurisdiction over the matter and summary adjudication was proper.

In re A.H. (Sixth Dist., 7/26/13) [Family Law]
In a dependency action none of parents’ contentions raised on appeal concerning earlier final appealable orders are cognizable.

In re Nickolas T. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 7/22/13) [Family Law]
Parental placement of minor at risk of harm from out-of-state guardians should have been evaluated under Welf & I C §361.2 after that state had declined jurisdiction.

Natalie D. v. State Dept. of Health Care Services (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 7/18/13) [Family Law]
Prohibition on placement of a minor with any person, including a relative other than a custodial parent, who has been convicted of specified violent offenses is constitutional.

In re A.M. (First Dist., Div. One, 7/10/13) [Family Law]
Because the juvenile court’s finding of changed circumstances was not supported by substantial evidence and the grant of services was based on an incorrect legal standard, case reversed and remanded to juvenile court.

In re E.D. (Third Dist., 7/9/13) [Family Law]
Absent specific cited evidence of a substantial risk of detriment, the court erred in denying a minor’s return to his father’s custody when that placement was the county’s recommendation and the minor’s stated wish.

In Re I.J. (Supreme Court, 5/9/13) [Family Law]
A father’s prolonged and egregious sexual abuse of his own child may provide substantial evidence to support a finding that all his children are juvenile court dependents.

In re Marriage of Kahn (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 4/26/13) [Family Law]
In dissolution proceeding judgment voided to the extent that lower court awarded wife $275,000 against husband, and, matter remanded to the trial court with directions to determine whether the judgment should be modified by striking the award of $275,000 or wholly vacated.

In re K.R. (Second Dist., Div. Five, 4/25/13) [Family Law]
The juvenile court erred in dismissing Welf & I C §300 petition as to child when there was substantial evidence that her father had sexually abused his older stepchild.

In re Marriage of Simmons (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 4/18/13) [Family Law]
Family Code §1101(h), which authorizes the court to award up to 100% of the value of any asset undisclosed or transferred in breach of the spouses’ fiduciary duty, applies only to community assets.

In re A.M. (Third Dist., 4/11/13) [Family Law]
When a dependent child’s Indian tribe failed to initiate a Tribal Custody Adoption, the trial court did not err in terminating the mother’s parental rights and selecting adoption as the permanent plan.

Lister v. Bowen (First Dist., Div. Two, 4/11/13) [Family Law]
The trial court properly renewed a restraining order pursuant to Fam C §6345 when the protected party’s reasonable apprehension of future abuse was supported by the restrained party’s prior violation of the existing order.

In re T.G. (First Dist., Div. Five, 4/2/13) [Family Law]
The juvenile court’s termination of the parental rights of a child’s presumed father must be reversed because the juvenile court never made a finding that he was an unfit parent.

In re T.W. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 3/27/13) [Family Law]
Substantial evidence supported the court’s order removing a minor from parental custody in order to prevent substantial danger to her.

In re Marriage of Bendetti (Second Dist., Div. Five, 3/19/13) [Family Law]
Ex-wife who joined second wife as a third party to dissolution proceedings, alleging fraudulent transfers from the ex-husband to the second wife, was entitled to attorney fees against her without showing a likelihood of success or linking her to a dissolution proceeding issue.

In re Marriage of Lim and Carrasco (Sixth Dist., 3/18/13) [Family Law]
Temporary spousal and child support were properly calculated based on the paying spouse’s voluntarily reduced income from her 80 percent work schedule rather than her earnings capacity as a full-time attorney.

In re A.J. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 3/14/13) [Family Law]
Juvenile court evaluated recommendation to terminate jurisdiction under the legal standard applicable at the time, and its finding that no protective issue existed that would warrant retaining jurisdiction was supported by substantial evidence.

In re Ricky T. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 3/13/13) [Family Law]
Appellant’s conviction of crimes involving sexual abuse of step grand-daughter gave rise to a presumption Ricky T. was at risk of harm in appellant’s care and he failed to rebut the presumption.

In re Marriage of Priem (First Dist., Div. One, 3/13/13) [Family Law]
Appellant was statutorily ineligible to receive spousal support based on her history of domestic violence towards her husband.

J.A. v. Superior Court (Butte Cty. Dept. of Employment and Social Services) (Third Dist., 3/7/13) [Family Law]
Provision of Welf & I C § 361.5(b)(10) authorizing refusal of reunification services to parent who has previously failed to reunify with “any siblings or half siblings” of the child could not be interpreted to apply to reunification attempts with the child who is the subject of the proceeding.

Conservatorship of Gregory D. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 3/5/13) [Family Law]
Parent who had resigned as conservator of developmentally disabled adult lacked standing to appeal court’s orders affecting conservatee.

In re Madison T. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 2/28/13) [Family Law]
If it is appropriate for a social worker to rely on a particular item of evidence in making a dispositional recommendation, the fact that the evidence is hearsay is not objectionable if the evidence is otherwise reliable.

Moore v. Bedard (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 2/15/13) [Family Law]
A family law court’s jurisdiction to make child support orders survived the termination of a temporary restraining order that originally was requested with a child support order.

In re Marriage of P. (Second Dist., Div. Five, 2/13/13) [Family Law]
Substantial evidence supported both the trial court’s finding that terminating adoptive father’s parental rights was in the best interests of the minor and the court’s implicit conclusion that no less drastic alternatives to termination were reasonably available.

In re Andrew J. (Fifth Dist., 2/6/13) [Family Law]
A county’s juvenile court may not simply overrule the court of another county, and it errs in finding transfer of a juvenile to be in the child’s best interest absent supporting evidence.

In re Michael E. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 2/5/13) [Family Law]
The juvenile court properly denied nonrelative extended family member status to the minor’s father’s fiancee, who had never met the minor, when placement with relatives was possible.

In re Gloria A. (Second Dist., Div. One, 1/31/13) [Family Law]
Juvenile court’s orders reversed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under UCCJEA when “home state” jurisdiction could not be established; paternal grandfather had standing as an aggrieved person whose rights or interests were injuriously affected, since assumption of jurisdiction by the California court rendered him unable to enforce the temporary guardianship order of the Mexican family court.

In re Marriage of Turkanis and Price (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 1/30/13) [Family Law]
In dissolution action, trial court’s order affirmed granting motions to expunge family law attorney’s real property liens and attorney fees.

In re Noe F. (Second Dist., Div. One, 1/30/13) [Family Law]
Fact that mother was incarcerated was not a basis for finding that she would cause child serious physical harm or illness simply because she was unable to make an appropriate plan for his care.

Chalmers v. Hirschkop (First Dist., Div. Two, 1/30/13) [Family Law]
A stepparent cannot request a modification of a prior court order that denied visitation.

Ian J. v. Peter M. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 1/29/13) [Family Law]
The family court erred in awarding visitation to grandparents who failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that, notwithstanding the father’s objection, unsupervised visitation with them was in their granddaughters’ best interest.

In re Marriage of Campi (First Dist., Div. Four, 1/24/13) [Family Law]
Because there is no right to counsel in dissolution proceedings, husband’s posttrial claim of ineffective assistance of counsel does not warrant a new trial.

In re Marriage of E.U. and J.E. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 1/22/13) [Family Law]
The court erred by not enforcing a court order providing that a father’s child custody would be reinstated on his return from military deployment overseas.

Parker v. Harbert (First Dist., Div. Five, 1/16/13) [Family Law]
In family law proceeding, no error in court’s imposing attorney fee sanctions on husband who engaged in obstructive litigation.

In re John M. (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 1/15/13) [Family Law]
Substantial evidence that a blind, autistic son could not safely remain in his mother’s custody supported the juvenile court’s order removing him from her custody.

In re the Marriage of Hibbard (First Dist., Div. Four, 1/15/13) [Family Law]
Trial court has no discretion to modify a spousal support order for reasons other than those specifically stipulated in the marital settlement agreement.

In re the Marriage of Facter (First Dist., Div. One, 1/14/13) [Family Law]
An unconscionable, unenforceable waiver of spousal support in a prenuptial agreement did not render unenforceable the provisions in the same agreement affecting community property rights.

In re Marquis H. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 1/7/13) [Family Law]
The juvenile court can assume jurisdiction over a child based on a risk of physical harm under Welf & I C §300(a) when the parents have physically abused minor grandchildren in their custody.

In re Marriage of Melissa (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 1/2/13) [Family Law]
The trial court properly applied the law in effect when the parties signed a spousal support waiver contained in a 1985 prenuptial agreement, when spousal support waivers were deemed invalid as being against public policy.

In re David R. (Second Dist., Div. One, 12/31/12) [Family Law]
Court committed reversible error by applying an incorrect standard in finding that father’s 2-year-old son is at “substantial risk” of being molested by father based solely on his previous molestation of stepdaughter.

J.R. v. D.P. (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 12/21/12) [Family Law]
When two men qualified as presumed fathers, a court did not err by designating the biological father as the presumed father.

Arce v. County of Los Angeles (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 12/17/12) [Family Law]
County’s detention of children violated plaintiffs’ constitutional rights under 42 USC §1983 but not under state law.

Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services v. Superior Court (Y.G.) (Second Dist., Div. Three, 11/15/12) [Family Law]
When the parent’s negligence was a legal cause of her toddler’s death, there is a proper basis for finding that her surviving child may be made a dependent of the juvenile court.

In re M.L. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 11/9/12) [Family Law]
Trial court erred in failing to conduct an in camera review of mother’s psychotherapist records in order to determine if it was appropriate or necessary to disclose the records to the county Department of Children and Family Services.

In re T.G. (First Dist., Div. Five, 4/2/13) [Family Law]
The juvenile court’s termination of the parental rights of a child’s presumed father must be reversed because the juvenile court never made a finding that he was an unfit parent.

In re T.W. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 3/27/13) [Family Law]
Substantial evidence supported the court’s order removing a minor from parental custody in order to prevent substantial danger to her.

In re Marriage of Bendetti (Second Dist., Div. Five, 3/19/13) [Family Law]
Ex-wife who joined second wife as a third party to dissolution proceedings, alleging fraudulent transfers from the ex-husband to the second wife, was entitled to attorney fees against her without showing a likelihood of success or linking her to a dissolution proceeding issue.

In re Marriage of Lim and Carrasco (Sixth Dist., 3/18/13) [Family Law]
Temporary spousal and child support were properly calculated based on the paying spouse’s voluntarily reduced income from her 80 percent work schedule rather than her earnings capacity as a full-time attorney.

In re A.J. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 3/14/13) [Family Law]
Juvenile court evaluated recommendation to terminate jurisdiction under the legal standard applicable at the time, and its finding that no protective issue existed that would warrant retaining jurisdiction was supported by substantial evidence.

In re Ricky T. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 3/13/13) [Family Law]
Appellant’s conviction of crimes involving sexual abuse of step grand-daughter gave rise to a presumption Ricky T. was at risk of harm in appellant’s care and he failed to rebut the presumption.

In re Marriage of Priem (First Dist., Div. One, 3/13/13) [Family Law]
Appellant was statutorily ineligible to receive spousal support based on her history of domestic violence towards her husband.

J.A. v. Superior Court (Butte Cty. Dept. of Employment and Social Services) (Third Dist., 3/7/13) [Family Law]
Provision of Welf & I C § 361.5(b)(10) authorizing refusal of reunification services to parent who has previously failed to reunify with “any siblings or half siblings” of the child could not be interpreted to apply to reunification attempts with the child who is the subject of the proceeding.

Conservatorship of Gregory D. (Second Dist., Div. Three, 3/5/13) [Family Law]
Parent who had resigned as conservator of developmentally disabled adult lacked standing to appeal court’s orders affecting conservatee.

In re Madison T. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 2/28/13) [Family Law]
If it is appropriate for a social worker to rely on a particular item of evidence in making a dispositional recommendation, the fact that the evidence is hearsay is not objectionable if the evidence is otherwise reliable.

Moore v. Bedard (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 2/15/13) [Family Law]
A family law court’s jurisdiction to make child support orders survived the termination of a temporary restraining order that originally was requested with a child support order.

In re Marriage of P. (Second Dist., Div. Five, 2/13/13) [Family Law]
Substantial evidence supported both the trial court’s finding that terminating adoptive father’s parental rights was in the best interests of the minor and the court’s implicit conclusion that no less drastic alternatives to termination were reasonably available.

In re Andrew J. (Fifth Dist., 2/6/13) [Family Law]
A county’s juvenile court may not simply overrule the court of another county, and it errs in finding transfer of a juvenile to be in the child’s best interest absent supporting evidence.

In re Michael E. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 2/5/13) [Family Law]
The juvenile court properly denied nonrelative extended family member status to the minor’s father’s fiancee, who had never met the minor, when placement with relatives was possible.

In re Gloria A. (Second Dist., Div. One, 1/31/13) [Family Law]
Juvenile court’s orders reversed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under UCCJEA when “home state” jurisdiction could not be established; paternal grandfather had standing as an aggrieved person whose rights or interests were injuriously affected, since assumption of jurisdiction by the California court rendered him unable to enforce the temporary guardianship order of the Mexican family court.

In re Marriage of Turkanis and Price (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 1/30/13) [Family Law]
In dissolution action, trial court’s order affirmed granting motions to expunge family law attorney’s real property liens and attorney fees.

In re Noe F. (Second Dist., Div. One, 1/30/13) [Family Law]
Fact that mother was incarcerated was not a basis for finding that she would cause child serious physical harm or illness simply because she was unable to make an appropriate plan for his care.

Chalmers v. Hirschkop (First Dist., Div. Two, 1/30/13) [Family Law]
A stepparent cannot request a modification of a prior court order that denied visitation.

Ian J. v. Peter M. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 1/29/13) [Family Law]
The family court erred in awarding visitation to grandparents who failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that, notwithstanding the father’s objection, unsupervised visitation with them was in their granddaughters’ best interest.

In re Marriage of Campi (First Dist., Div. Four, 1/24/13) [Family Law]
Because there is no right to counsel in dissolution proceedings, husband’s posttrial claim of ineffective assistance of counsel does not warrant a new trial.

In re Marriage of E.U. and J.E. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 1/22/13) [Family Law]
The court erred by not enforcing a court order providing that a father’s child custody would be reinstated on his return from military deployment overseas.

Parker v. Harbert (First Dist., Div. Five, 1/16/13) [Family Law]
In family law proceeding, no error in court’s imposing attorney fee sanctions on husband who engaged in obstructive litigation.

In re John M. (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 1/15/13) [Family Law]
Substantial evidence that a blind, autistic son could not safely remain in his mother’s custody supported the juvenile court’s order removing him from her custody.

In re the Marriage of Hibbard (First Dist., Div. Four, 1/15/13) [Family Law]
Trial court has no discretion to modify a spousal support order for reasons other than those specifically stipulated in the marital settlement agreement.

In re the Marriage of Facter (First Dist., Div. One, 1/14/13) [Family Law]
An unconscionable, unenforceable waiver of spousal support in a prenuptial agreement did not render unenforceable the provisions in the same agreement affecting community property rights.

In re Marquis H. (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 1/7/13) [Family Law]
The juvenile court can assume jurisdiction over a child based on a risk of physical harm under Welf & I C §300(a) when the parents have physically abused minor grandchildren in their custody.

In re Marriage of Melissa (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 1/2/13) [Family Law]
The trial court properly applied the law in effect when the parties signed a spousal support waiver contained in a 1985 prenuptial agreement, when spousal support waivers were deemed invalid as being against public policy.

In re David R. (Second Dist., Div. One, 12/31/12) [Family Law]
Court committed reversible error by applying an incorrect standard in finding that father’s 2-year-old son is at “substantial risk” of being molested by father based solely on his previous molestation of stepdaughter.

J.R. v. D.P. (Second Dist., Div. Eight, 12/21/12) [Family Law]
When two men qualified as presumed fathers, a court did not err by designating the biological father as the presumed father.

Arce v. County of Los Angeles (Second Dist., Div. Seven, 12/17/12) [Family Law]
County’s detention of children violated plaintiffs’ constitutional rights under 42 USC §1983 but not under state law.

Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services v. Superior Court (Y.G.) (Second Dist., Div. Three, 11/15/12) [Family Law]
When the parent’s negligence was a legal cause of her toddler’s death, there is a proper basis for finding that her surviving child may be made a dependent of the juvenile court.

In re M.L. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two, 11/9/12) [Family Law]
Trial court erred in failing to conduct an in camera review of mother’s psychotherapist records in order to determine if it was appropriate or necessary to disclose the records to the county Department of Children and Family Services.

In re Marriage of Barth (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 10/22/12) [Family Law]
Retroactive award of child support under Fam C § 4009 was not an abuse of discretion nor did it constitute an equal protection violation.

In re Marriage of Adams and A. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 10/16/12) [Family Law]
Trial court abused its discretion by denying father’s application to stay the evaluation and remove the evaluator who had developed a negative prejudgment of him.

In re Marriage of Freitas (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 10/3/12) [Family Law]
Changed circumstances rule did not prevent the trial court from terminating the temporary spousal support award because of the spouse’s domestic violence conviction.

Kern County Department of Child Support Services v. Camacho (Fifth Dist., 10/2/12) [Family Law]
Substantial evidence showed that appellant was fully aware of his right to object to a commissioner acting as a temporary judge on his motion regarding arrearages in child support.

R.H. v. Superior Court (San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency) (Fourth Dist., Div. One, 9/14/12) [Family Law]
De facto/prospective adoptive parents did not have a due process right to appointment of counsel at a hearing to remove a child from their home.

In re B.S. (Second Dist., Div. Three) [Family Law]
Juvenile court need not ignore the denial of an ICPC request made at the behest of the out-of-state parent, simply because it was not statutorily required.

A.A. v. Superior Court (San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency) (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [FamilyLaw]
Juvenile court erred in denying reunification services to a mother who moved with her child’s sibling to Arizona.

In re S.M. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
Parent is liable for costs to the county for legal services by an attorney appointed to represent the parent and minor in a dependency proceeding, but juvenile court improperly considered SSI in determining ability to pay.

Burnham v. California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Third Dist.) [Family Law]
Filing declaration of domestic partnership after death of one partner did not create domestic partnership.

In re D.G. (Second Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
Father’s solicitation of sex from one child constituted abuse of that child and placed another child in the home at risk of harm.

In re Marriage of Left (Second Dist., Div. Two) [Family Law]
Obligation to pay spousal support did not terminate on “remarriage” when the couple intentionally did not meet the legal requirements of marriage.

Smith v. Smith (Third Dist.) [Family Law]
In a custody dispute, the court did not err in redacting any references to the father’s juvenile records in reports that were prepared to assist in determining custody and refusing to order the reports to be destroyed.

In re Anthony T. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
A finding that the placement for a child is not within reasonable proximity to the child’s home constitutes good cause not to follow Indian Child Welfare Act placement preferences.

In re H.R. (First Dist., Div. Three) [Family Law]
Absent a finding that tribal customary adoption would be detrimental to the minor, the court erred in failing to select such a permanent plan.

In re R.V. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
Father’s sexual abuse of a daughter supported a finding that the son was at substantial risk of sexual abuse.

In re W.B. (Supreme Court) [Family Law]
While the Indian Child Welfare Act specifically excludes notice requirements in delinquency proceedings, California is unauthorized under federal preemption to expand the ICWA’s application to include notice in delinquincy proceedings under Welf & I C §602.

L.M. v. M.G. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
Single-parent adoption decree did not rebut the parentage presumption in Fam C §7611(d).

In re Christian P. (Second Dist., Div. Three) [Family Law]
Because Welf & I C §827 authorizes Department of Children and Family Services attorneys to access juvenile court files generally, the attorney in this case was not required to petition the trial court to request access to the file.

In re D.S. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
When a natural mother has first assumed and later appears to have abandoned her parental rights and responsibilities to her child, the appropriate mechanism for a stepparent to gain parental rights is through a stepparent adoption proceeding, not through a maternity claim against the natural mother.

Guardianship of Vaughan (Third Dist.) [Family Law]
The stable placement provision of Fam C §3041 is not dependent on the child’s first being abandoned by the nonparent.

In re Y.M. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
A juvenile who was both a dependent of the California juvenile court and a victim of human sexual trafficking was entitled to protections afforded by the California dependency system and federal acts combating human trafficking; court did not err in denying mother’s petition to return juvenile to her custody in Guatemala and denying juvenile’s petition to be removed from federal custody and placed in a foster home.

Melissa R. v. Superior Court (San Francisco Human Services Agency) (First Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
Trial court improperly denied reunification services for a mother under Welf & I C §361.5 when it based its ruling on the fact that a half-brother had previously been removed under Wisconsin law, not under Welf & I C §361 as the statute expressly requires.

Marriage of Wilson and Bodine (Fourth Dist., Div. Three) [Family Law]
Marriage of parents automatically created joint rights and liabilities for custody and support of the child and nullified a preexisting order of child support entered in a premarriage paternity action.

In re Ethan C. (Supreme Court) [Family Law]
Welfare and Institutions Code §300(f) allows the juvenile court to adjudge a child a dependent, without additional evidence that the circumstances surrounding the parent’s fatal negligence indicate a present risk of harm to surviving children in the parent’s custody, if the court finds that want of ordinary care by the child’s parent or guardian caused another child’s death; an accident is not a “superseding cause” of death when the parent breached a legal duty to secure a child in a safety seat.

In re Ryan K. (Second Dist., Div. Four) [Family Law]
After remand and reinstatement of jurisdiction, mother was free to file, and the court was free to consider, a petition for a change in custody, and the court was not constrained from considering new developments when it issued the revised family law order.

In re A.G. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
Parent’s sexual abuse of daughter indicates that he poses a danger to his sons by creating a dysfunctional and potentially harmful environment, supporting a denial of reunification services.

Marriage of Khera and Sameer (Sixth Dist.) [Family Law]
The court did not abuse its discretion in denying a postjudgment motion to modify a spousal support order—which provided for the spousal support obligation of the moving party’s former husband to terminate unless she made a good cause showing to extend spousal support—because she did not make any showing that her ability to be self-supporting was an unrealized expectation.

In re Gabriel G. (Second Dist., Div. Two) [Family Law]
A child whose birth certificate designates a biological parent as a member of an Indian tribe is presumed to be an Indian child and the juvenile court must provide notice to the relevant Indian tribe under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) before terminating custody.

In re J.M. (Second Dist., Div. Eight) [Family Law]
The law does not require the inclusion of information about great-great-ancestors in Indian Child Welfare Act notices.

In re Marriage of Green (First Dist., Div. Four) [Family Law]
The military service credit that the husband purchased was community property because it was purchased with community funds during the parties’ marriage.

In re A.S. (Fourth Dist., Div. Three) [Family Law]
The juvenile court did not err in placing the siblings separately because of their behavioral problems.

In re B.C. (Second Dist., Div. Three) [Family Law]
The juvenile court erred in failing to determine whether the petitioner was the minor’s biological father.

J.M. v. Superior Court (Ventura County Human Services Agency) (Second Dist., Div. Six) [Family Law]
When a mother’s criminal neglect is a substantial factor in the health of her child, she is not entitled to reunification services.

Adoption of H.R. (Third Dist.) [Family Law]
The father was properly given Kelsey S. status (Adoption of Kelsey S. (1992) 1 Cal.4th 816) since he promptly acknowledged paternity, accompanied mother to prenatal care, visited his child, and took legal action to secure parental rights and custody, therfore, status cannot be denied solely on the basis of his failure to provide financial assistance to the mother and his less than ideal relationship with her.

In re D.M. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
In appeal from judgment terminating parental rights over defendant’s younger half-siblings, substantial evidence supports finding that sibling relationship exception to adoption preference is inapplicable, and as a matter of first impression, defendant lacks standing on adoptability finding because it does not affect any cognizable right of defendant.

In re M.L. (First Dist., Div. Five) [Family Law]
The juvenile court erred in dismissing the Welf. & Inst. Code, § 387, petition and ordering the child placed with the grandparents in light of the grandfather’s unexempted criminal history.

In re Kaylee H. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
The juvenile court abused its discretion when it did not consider whether a Welf. & Inst. Code, § 300, petition was necessary to protect the minor.

In re Jordan R. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
The juvenile court did not err when it excluded the results of the father’s polygraph examination where the father was accused of sexually abusing his niece.

In re Alexis S. (Second Dist., Div. Four) [Family Law]
Evidence that the father inappropriately touched his sons’ adolescent half-sister did not support the finding that the sons were at risk of sexual abuse and justify the dispositional order detaining the boys.

In re A.G. (First Dist., Div. Three) [Family Law]
The agency’s Indian Child Welfare Act violations required the court to conditionally reverse the order terminating parental rights.

In re Ana C. (Second Dist., Div. Eight) [Family Law]
The failure of the father’s counsel to object to his 14-year old daughter’s competency to testify at the dependency proceeding did not amount to ineffective assistance of counsel, and even so, nothing in the record indicated that the daughter was incompetent to testify.

Litke O’Farrell, LLC v. Tipton (First Dist., Div. Four) [Family Law]
The division of the community property occurred when the parties signed the marital settlement agreement as opposed to when the family court entered the judgment of dissolution.

In re B.L. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
The juvenile court properly denied the parent’s reunifications services because the child was not removed from them since the child was removed from his guardians, in addition, the court also found that the statute would have not applied had the child been removed from the them because the statute applied only to siblings.

In re Marriage of Rice and Eaton (Third Dist.) [Family Law]
The family court erred in dismissing the wife’s order to show cause for contempt for failure to pay child support because evidence that the husband failed to pay child support in one month does not supply proof of failure to pay in another month.

In re D.A. (Second Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
The juvenile court erred in awarding paternity where subsequent genetic testing revealed another man to be the minor’s biological father.

In re E.M. (Second Dist., Div. Five) [Family Law]
The mother forfeited her right to appeal from the juvenile court’s orders because she willfully left the jurisdiction with her children.

In re Cheyenne B. (Second Dist., Div. Three) [Family Law]
A paternity judgment establishing that a man is the father of a child for child support purposes is nonetheless a “paternity judgment” within the meaning of Fam. Code, § 7612, subd. (c), and such a judgment will rebut the § 7611, subd. (d), presumption.

In re Ashton R. (First Dist., Div. Five) [Family Law]
The juvenile court had no authority to order supervised visitation between the two minor siblings where it had dismissed one of the dependency petitions without a finding of jurisdiction.

In re Marriage of Falcone and Fyke (Sixth Dist.) [Family Law]
In this opinion the court rejects the petitioner’s five in propria persona appeals regarding her dissolution of marriage proceedings and declares her a vexatious litigant.

In re K.P. (Second Dist., Div. Seven) [Family Law]
In this appeal for termination of parental rights, the juvenile court did not err in failing to apply the parent-child relationship exception to the statutory preference for adoption because substantial evidence supported the court’s findings and the court did not abuse its discretion in declining to apply the exception.

In re A.A. (Fourth Dist., Div. Two) [Family Law]
The juvenile court was not required to consider placing the minor with the mother, who was incarcerated in federal prison, where the mother was not a nonoffending parent pursuant to Welf. Inst. Code, § 361, subd. (c), and where custody had previously been removed upon a finding of risk which had not been alleviated.

In re Michael G. (Fourth Dist., Div. One) [Family Law]
The juvenile court erred when it did not order a brief continuance of the Welf. Inst. Code, § 366.26, hearing to allow time to receive minor’s psychological evaluation and an updated report from his therapist, but the error was harmless in light of other evidence supporting the finding that minor was likely to be adopted within a reasonable time.LA Superior Court Forms