In re K.S.
J.S. (mother) appeals from six-month review orders by the juvenile court as to her minor daughters K.S. and N.K. (Welf. & Inst. Code, Â§Â§ 366.21, subd. (e), 395.) The court continued K.S.â€™s placement in foster care and ordered further reunification services to mother, including conjoint counseling for mother and K.S. As to N.K., who was placed with her father B.K. at disposition pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 361.2, subdivisions (a) and (b)(1), the court granted sole legal and physical custody to B.K. and terminated jurisdiction.
On this appeal, mother contends only that the juvenile court abused its discretion and violated due process by refusing to admit audiotapes made by mother and offered by her as impeachment evidence. According to mother, the courtâ€™s error was prejudicial because this evidence, if admitted, could have â€œpainted a very differentâ€ (more favorable) picture of the relationship between her and the minors; therefore, she requests remand of both minorsâ€™ cases for rehearing.
Respondent Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services (the Department) replies that the audiotapes were properly excluded because (1) the communications recorded were confidential and the other parties did not consent to being recorded (Pen. Code, Â§ 632); (2) the audiotapes might have been incomplete or selectively edited; (3) they were minimally probative and would have consumed undue time (Evid. Code, Â§ 352); and (4) mother never provided the parties with copies or transcripts of the audiotapes (Evid. Code, Â§ 250; Cal. Rules of Court, rule 2.1040(b)).
We conclude the Departmentâ€™s last point is sufficient to uphold the juvenile courtâ€™s rulings. Therefore, we shall affirm on that basis without reaching the partiesâ€™ other arguments.
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