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In re Jason R. CA5

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In re Jason R. CA5
By
03/12/18

Filed 2/26/18 In re Jason R. CA5
Received for posting 2/27/18



NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FIFTH APPELLATE DISTRICT

In re JASON R., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.

KERN COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES,

Plaintiff and Respondent,

v.

ANNETTE C.,

Defendant and Appellant.

F076178

(Super. Ct. No. JD116572-02)


OPINION

THE COURT*
APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Kern County. Louie L. Vega, Judge.
Patricia K. Saucier, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.
No appearance for Respondent.
-ooOoo-
Appellant Annette C. (mother) appealed from the juvenile court’s order terminating her parental rights (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 366.26) as to her now ten-year-old son, Jason. After reviewing the juvenile court record, appellant’s court-appointed counsel informed this court she could find no arguable issues to raise on mother’s behalf. This court granted mother leave to personally file a letter setting forth a good cause showing that an arguable issue of reversible error exists. (In re Phoenix H. (2009) 47 Cal.4th 835, 844 (Phoenix H.).)
Mother filed a letter, but failed to address the termination findings or orders, or set forth a good cause showing that any arguable issue of reversible error arose from the section 366.26 hearing. (Phoenix H., supra, 47 Cal.4th at p. 844.) Consequently, we dismiss the appeal.
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL SUMMARY
Three-month-old Jason, along with his siblings, was first removed from mother’s custody in December 2007, because her home was unsanitary, she was using drugs, including methamphetamine, and engaging in domestic violence with her boyfriend, Jason R., Jason’s alleged father. The juvenile court exercised its dependency jurisdiction over the children and ordered mother to participate in reunification services. Paternity testing subsequently established Jason R. as Jason’s biological father. In September 2008, the court returned Jason to mother’s custody with family maintenance services and, a year later, awarded her sole physical custody and terminated its dependency jurisdiction. Over the next two years, the Kern County Department of Human Services (department) received reports that mother was using drugs and physically abusing and neglecting the children.
Jason was removed again from mother’s custody in December 2011, after she gave birth to another child and she and the baby tested positive for methamphetamine. Mother was arrested in January 2012, for a variety of charges, including assault with a deadly weapon. Jason R. was incarcerated and serving four years eight months for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
In April 2012, the juvenile court ordered mother to participate in reunification services but she was noncompliant. Consequently, the court terminated reunification services at the six-month review hearing in November 2012, and set a section 366.26 hearing. Mother did not challenge the court’s setting order by writ petition.
In July 2013, the juvenile court ordered Jason into a legal guardianship with a relative. Two of Jason’s half-siblings were placed together in a foster home, two others were placed separately in foster homes, and another was placed alone with a relative caregiver. The children visited twice a month for two hours and appeared to get along.
In November 2015, Jason’s legal guardian filed a section 388 petition asking the juvenile court to vacate the legal guardianship. She alleged Jason was aggressive and threw objects at her and hit walls and furniture. They were not emotionally connected and he was not responsive to her disciplinary techniques. The court granted the petition, terminated the guardianship, and reinstated dependency jurisdiction. In December 2015, the department placed Jason with a paternal aunt.
Jason remained with his paternal aunt, who was nurturing and supportive of him and had “emotionally adopted” him. He was very happy in her care and told a social worker he wanted her to adopt him.
In March 2017, the juvenile court set a section 366.26 hearing to consider a permanent plan of adoption for Jason.
The department recommended the juvenile court terminate parental rights. The parents were incarcerated and had limited to no contact with Jason. Mother had visited Jason six times in the last year. Though they shared a strong attachment when Jason was first removed from her custody, the relationship had diminished to a “friendly” relationship over the ensuing years. Jason R. had not visited Jason since 2012 when he had 11 in-custody visits with him. Jason R. was released in March 2016, and arrested the following May. The department pointed out that the parents had significant criminal histories, including drug and firearm possession, assault, robbery, and willful cruelty to a child.
Jason liked living with his aunt and felt safe with her. He understood the concept of adoption and agreed with the plan of adoption, stating, “She’s already my mom,” referring to his aunt. He completed the third grade and performed well in school, making five A’s on his report card, including one for conduct, and one B. He also participated in mental health services, beginning in December 2016, to address his history of defiance, lying, manipulation, lack of emotion, anxiety, and anger. He attended biweekly therapy sessions for three months and stopped after his symptoms improved.
Mother appeared telephonically at the section 366.26 hearing conducted in August 2017. She acknowledged being incarcerated for a significant period following Jason’s removal and not visiting him regularly, but said she was able to see him in the last year and wrote to him every few weeks. Jason called her “mom” and wanted to know when she was coming home. Mother did not believe he understood the concept of adoption and opined a legal guardianship would be more appropriate. She expected to be released from prison in 2020 and was concerned she would not be able to see Jason when she was released if her parental rights were severed.
The juvenile court found Jason was likely to be adopted and terminated parental rights.
DISCUSSION
An appealed-from judgment or order is presumed correct. (Denham v. Superior Court (1970) 2 Cal.3d 557, 564.) It is appellant’s burden to raise claims of reversible error or other defect and present argument and authority on each point made. If appellant fails to do so, the appeal may be dismissed. (In re Sade C. (1996) 13 Cal.4th 952, 994.)
At a termination hearing, the juvenile court’s focus is on whether it is likely the child will be adopted and if so, order termination of parental rights. (In re Marilyn H. (1993) 5 Cal.4th 295, 309.) If, as in this case, the child is likely to be adopted, the juvenile court must terminate parental rights unless the parent proves there is a compelling reason for finding that termination would be detrimental to the child under any of the circumstances listed in section 366.26, subdivision (c)(1)(B).
Mother does not argue the juvenile court erred in terminating her parental rights. Rather, she contends that she and Jason always had a “true and sincere bond” and she would like him to maintain a relationship with her, his siblings and his father, Jason R.
Since mother does not challenge the juvenile court’s order terminating her parental rights, she has failed to raise any arguable issue on appeal. Consequently, we dismiss her appeal.
DISPOSITION
This appeal is dismissed.





Description Appellant Annette C. (mother) appealed from the juvenile court’s order terminating her parental rights (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 366.26) as to her now ten-year-old son, Jason. After reviewing the juvenile court record, appellant’s court-appointed counsel informed this court she could find no arguable issues to raise on mother’s behalf. This court granted mother leave to personally file a letter setting forth a good cause showing that an arguable issue of reversible error exists. (In re Phoenix H. (2009) 47 Cal.4th 835, 844 (Phoenix H.).)
Mother filed a letter, but failed to address the termination findings or orders, or set forth a good cause showing that any arguable issue of reversible error arose from the section 366.26 hearing. (Phoenix H., supra, 47 Cal.4th at p. 844.) Consequently, we dismiss the appeal.
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