No. B275763.

In re VANESSA R., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. A.P., Defendant and Appellant.

Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division One.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Toni Taylor Buck , under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Mary C. Wickham , County Counsel, R. Keith Davis , Assistant County Counsel, and Sally Son , Senior Associate County Counsel, for Plaintiff and Respondent.


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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 this juvenile dependency case, defendant and appellant A.P. (Mother) challenges the juvenile court's jurisdictional findings and dispositional orders. In particular, Mother argues substantial evidence does not support the juvenile court's findings that she put her then-eight-year-old daughter Vanessa at risk of serious physical harm by abusing alcohol or by engaging in violent domestic disputes. As explained below, we disagree and affirm.


1. Events Preceding Section 300 Petition

Mother and Vanessa's father (Father) are divorced and prior to these proceedings shared custody of Vanessa. Vanessa is the only child of both parents. Father is not a party to this appeal and was a non-offending parent below. As a result of these proceedings, Father was awarded sole physical custody of Vanessa.

Everyone agrees Mother loves Vanessa and wants what is best for her. It is also undisputed neither Mother nor any of her boyfriends has ever physically abused or otherwise physically harmed Vanessa. However, as explained in detail below, most everyone also agrees Mother's behavior changes when she drinks alcohol, which she does when she is with Vanessa, and on occasion Mother has driven while intoxicated with Vanessa in the car.

a. 2014 Incident in Florida

On April 11, 2014, Mother was arrested in Florida for domestic battery. At the time Mother was on vacation with her then-boyfriend, Barry R. Vanessa was not with them. Mother and Barry R. were in their Florida hotel room when others heard loud arguing coming from their room. Hotel security called the police. The Florida police report states the police heard yelling from the room as they approached. Mother answered the door naked but, at the officer's request, put on a robe. In the police report, the officer stated Mother "appeared to be highly intoxicated and was uncooperative." She told the officers she and Barry R. had an argument, but "it was verbal only." According to the police report, Barry R. was shirtless inside the hotel room and "had visible scratches and redness to his neck, chest, abdomen, and side" as well as "visible swelling to his nose." Barry R. told the police Mother was "very intoxicated and yelling and screaming at him." He explained Mother had gone into the hallway where a hotel guest confronted her. Barry R. did not want Mother to get in trouble so he brought her back inside their hotel room, where she began to scratch and hit him. He refused medical attention and did not press charges against Mother.

The police spoke with the hotel guest who had confronted Mother in the hallway. He told the police Mother had been "yelling and screaming" for an hour. He asked her to stop coming out of her room and to be quiet. According to the police report, Mother then swore at the man and Barry R. brought her back inside their hotel room.

The police arrested Mother. According to the police report, while she was waiting in the police car, she continued to yell and scream and claimed to be "racially profiled." She spontaneously stated she had hit and scratched Barry R. and that their fight began because he had ordered a prostitute, which made her upset. She also said she would say Barry R. raped her if it would stop the police from arresting her. She then stated Barry R. raped her. No criminal charges were filed against Mother.

b. September 27, 2015 Incident

On October 13, 2015, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (Department) received a referral claiming Mother emotionally abused Vanessa. In particular, the referral referenced a domestic abuse incident that occurred a couple weeks earlier on September 27, 2015. According to the police report from that incident, police responded to a domestic violence call at Mother's home around 9:45 p.m. The police first spoke with Mother's then-boyfriend, John M., who was standing in the street in front of Mother's home. According to the police report, John M. told the police Mother "hit him several times and pushed him" and "was throwing his personal belongings out onto the front lawn." The police observed Mother throwing men's clothing onto the front porch and detained her. According to the police report, Mother "had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from her breath [and] was slurring her speech and had bloodshot eyes." Initially, Mother spontaneously stated she did not touch John M. and he did not touch her.

The police then spoke with John M. in more detail about the incident. He explained Mother pushed him because she was upset about his upcoming business trip. John M. told the police Mother "grabbed [him] by his shirt and pulled him to the ground." He pushed Mother to get her off of him. John M. had no visible injuries and refused medical attention. He stated he was not "in fear of" Mother and refused an emergency protective order. John M. also told the police he and Mother had argued in the past but had never been in a physical altercation before that night.

At the time of the altercation, Vanessa was asleep in her room at Mother's home. She did not see the incident, but awoke to Mother screaming and the front door slamming shut several times. The police called Father, who picked up Vanessa and took her to his home.

Mother was arrested for domestic battery. When she was in the backseat of the police car, Mother again spontaneously stated she did not touch John M., but she added that John M. pushed her. Mother had no visible injuries. Because Mother first stated there had been no physical altercation then, once arrested, stated John M. pushed her, the police determined Mother was the primary aggressor.

c. Department Interviews and Investigation

On October 21, 2015, as part of the Department's investigation of the referral, a Department social worker spoke with Mother at her home. Mother noted she was a member of Vanessa's school board and co-chair of the school's parent board. Mother told the social worker that Vanessa did well in school, had no health problems, and ate and slept well. Mother denied alcohol abuse, substance abuse, and domestic violence in the home.

Mother told the social worker about her 2014 arrest in Florida. Mother claimed she did not hurt anyone and that she acted in self-defense. She stated she was arrested because "`[i]t was racial. He was white.'" When pressed for more information, Mother said she was not comfortable with some sexual activity Barry R. suggested so she "`pushed him off'" of her. She was adamant she was telling the truth and reiterated the police were on Barry R.'s "`side because he is White.'" With respect to the September 27 report of domestic violence between Mother and John M., Mother denied she was intoxicated or that any physical altercation occurred. She again claimed her arrest was "`racially motivated.'" Mother told the social worker she had grabbed John M.'s phone because John M. would not let her see it after she thought she saw a text from another woman on the phone. She said that was why she was arrested. Although the social worker pressed for more information, Mother insisted that was the reason for her arrest and that "`[t]he cops told [her] that since OJ, somebody has to get arrested.' "Mother told the social worker she filed a restraining order against John M. because he threatened her life after the September 27 incident.

The social worker also spoke with Vanessa about the September 27 incident. Vanessa told the social worker she was in her room that night when she heard Mother "`yelling and the door slamming shut a few times.'" Vanessa said she stayed in her room until the police came to talk to her, then she left with Father. Vanessa said, "`It was kind of scary.'" Vanessa reported Mother and Father had argued before, but she had never known Mother to engage in a physical altercation with anyone. Vanessa said she felt safe in both Mother's and Father's care.

Father was also interviewed. Although Father reported Mother loved Vanessa and wanted what is best for her, he also reported "some concerning behaviors with Mother" and that it had become difficult to co-parent with her. Father expressed concern about Mother's drinking, which he said made Mother "condescending to Vanessa as well as generally paranoid" and "accusatory." He said there had been times in the past when Mother would drink, then lock him out of the house, push him, hold him down, or run after him. Father also reported Vanessa told him Mother drove her home after drinking wine at her friends' homes. Father did not believe Mother understood how serious her drinking problem or behaviors had become. Father also expressed concern that Mother might use cocaine.

Father reported that, after Mother's 2014 Florida arrest, he requested custody of Vanessa, but his request was denied because Vanessa was not with Mother at the time of that arrest. Nonetheless, as a result of the 2014 arrest, their custody agreement was modified so that Mother was prohibited from drinking in Vanessa's presence. Father said following Mother's most recent arrest, he again filed for full custody of Vanessa and was awaiting a hearing and order on his request.

Other than what Vanessa told him, Father said he did not know exactly what happened between Mother and John M. on September 27. In addition to what Vanessa reported to the social worker, Father said Vanessa told him that after she heard Mother yelling but before the police arrived, Mother "burst into [Vanessa's] room and closed the window shutters," then started to cry and talk "random verbiage." Vanessa told Father she thought Mother was hiding from the police. He said when he arrived to pick up Vanessa, Mother was clearly intoxicated and Vanessa was panicking and anxious.

In light of Father's concern about Mother drinking and then driving with Vanessa in the car, the social worker spoke separately with Vanessa and Mother about that. At first, Vanessa said Mother did not drink and then drive with her in the car. But then she said there were times when Mother had "one or a few" glasses of wine while at a friend's house for dinner, then drove them both home. Vanessa said they went to these dinners once or a few times a week. The social worker asked Vanessa if Mother's behavior changed after drinking. Vanessa stated Mother laughed a lot or sometimes cried. Mother told the social worker she would never drink and then drive with Vanessa in the car. Mother said Vanessa did not know what drinking was and that it is "`not illegal or wrong to have a drink responsibly. I know my level and I wouldn't risk that. I drink maybe two glasses of wine over a 2-4 hour time span.'" The next day, the social worker visited Father at his home. Father shared a series of text messages John M. sent to him the night of the September 27 incident. In the text messages, John M. told Father that Mother "went crazy and wouldn't let me gather my things to leave. She attacked me and then wouldn't let me back in to get my car keys." John M. expressed concern both for Vanessa's safety and for Mother's health. He referenced Mother's "parenting behavior" as "psychotic" and "militaristic." He explained he was not a doctor but believed Mother had either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia that was drug or alcohol induced or exasperated.

On October 23, 2015, Mother reported for an on demand drug test, which results were negative.

The social worker also interviewed Mother's friend Eva P. by telephone. Eva P. stated she had known Mother for 20 years and they considered themselves more like sisters, but had had a falling out in late 2014. It was difficult for Eva P. to speak against Mother and at times during the interview it sounded like Eva P. was crying. Eva P. said she was "doing it for Vanessa [because] over the last couple of years she has seen Mother's behavior change" as a result of what Eva P. believed was Mother's alcohol and drug use.

In 2014, when Mother was arrested in Florida, Eva P. lived close to where Mother and Barry R. stayed. The night of Mother's arrest, Barry R. called Eva P. to pick up Mother and take care of her because he was leaving. Eva P. said nothing like that had ever happened before. The last time Eva P. visited and stayed with Mother was two weeks in August 2014. Eva P. stated the first night she was there, Mother drank so much that Vanessa slept with Eva P. in her room. The second night, Vanessa was with Father. Mother had friends over and drank and smoked cocaine. During the time Eva P. stayed with Mother, there were a few days when Mother had finished one or two bottles of wine by 11:00 a.m. She also said Mother always drank a few glasses of wine when they went out to eat with Vanessa. On one occasion, Mother called Eva P. from a friend's house and said she was "`lit'" and her speech was slurred. Eva P. offered to pick up Vanessa, who was with Mother at the time, but Mother refused, saying, "`It's ok. It's not far'" and "`I've done it before.'" At the time she spoke with the social worker, Eva P. believed Mother was drinking daily.

Eva P. also told the social worker that when she was visiting, she believed Mother was on a "cocaine crash." Eva P. stated Mother was edgy and erratic and unnecessarily angry with Vanessa.

In early November 2015, the social worker conducted a follow-up interview with Vanessa at her school. Vanessa told the social worker things at home were better because Mother "`hasn't drank and she has been nicer.'" She also admitted, however, that Mother "`kind of told me what to say and not say to you guys.' "Vanessa was worried Mother might be upset with her for talking with the social worker. She also said once or a few times a week at night she gets a funny feeling in her stomach not because she is scared but because "`I don't know what can happen.' "She said she gets that feeling at both Mother's home and Father's home, but sometimes at Mother's home it is so bad that she vomits.

The social worker also conducted a follow-up interview with Mother. Mother told the social worker that Eva P. is bipolar and not credible. She also continued to discredit the police reports of her two arrests. The social worker reported Mother was, among other things, paranoid and condescending.

In mid-November, the social worker spoke with John M. about the September 27 incident. He said he had reviewed the police report from that night and it was accurate. He told the social worker he was worried about Mother's drinking. He reported that, on several occasions, after drinking for hours at a friend's house, Mother drove Vanessa home. And, when John M. offered to drive, Mother refused. He also said that, after only a couple glasses of wine, Mother's behavior changed such that she became "`paranoid,'" "`suspicious,'" and "irrationally accusatory." Based on things Mother had told him, John M. also expressed concern that Mother might use cocaine. But he had never seen her use it.

Finally, the social worker spoke with James B., who is a retired teacher and whose daughter went to school with Mother when they were young. James B. said he does not speak with Mother regularly, but sees her around town seven to 10 times a year. He believed Mother was a good mother and made notable efforts to be positive in Vanessa's life, and that she and Vanessa had a good, normal relationship.

On November 25, 2015, on the Department's application, the superior court issued a removal order, detaining Vanessa from Mother.

2. Section 300 Petition

On December 4, 2015, the Department filed a petition under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300, subdivisions (a) and (b)1 on behalf of Vanessa. The petition alleged Mother's domestic violence incidents and alcohol and drug use placed Vanessa at substantial risk of serious physical harm. At the detention hearing held that same day, the juvenile court ordered Vanessa detained from Mother and placed with Father. Mother was given monitored visits with Vanessa and referrals to parenting, domestic violence, and drug and alcohol programs. The court also ordered Mother to submit to weekly drug and alcohol testing.

3. Adjudication

a. Documentary Evidence

Prior to the jurisdiction and disposition hearing, the Department filed multiple reports and documents with the juvenile court. In a February 2016 jurisdiction and disposition report, a Department social worker reported Mother continued to deny she had touched John M. during the September 27 incident, stating she merely "`reached for his cell phone.'" And she repeated she was acting in self-defense when she was arrested in Florida in 2014. Mother also denied the alcohol and drug abuse allegations, stating she had not had any alcohol since Thanksgiving, she had never used cocaine, and did not drive while intoxicated. Mother was attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The Department recognized Mother had "begun her sobriety and work by attending AA meetings and getting a sponsor."

Some of Mother's friends made statements or submitted letters in support of Mother. They agreed Mother was an involved mother and loved Vanessa very much. One family friend reported she was with Mother, John M., and Vanessa the night of the September 27 incident, but she left before the altercation occurred. She said she and Mother had "`very little, like two swallows' "of wine that night and Mother was not drunk when the friend left. The friend also stated she had never seen Mother drunk or out of control. Another friend, who is an addiction counselor, said she had never seen Mother drink more than two glasses of wine and had never seen her drunk. Mother's Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor reported Mother had been sober for 46 days.

On the other hand, Father reported he had experienced Mother's volatility when they were together and, at times, had wanted to call 911 because of her behavior but never did. He also stated Mother was irresponsible with alcohol. He said it was "`obvious'" when she was drinking because her behavior would change "`drastically'" after drinking even just a small amount of alcohol. Father also stated Vanessa was traumatized by the September 27 incident. Vanessa was Father's top priority. He indicated he wanted Vanessa and Mother to have a relationship, but only when Vanessa was willing and when Mother understood her past behaviors, eliminated alcohol and drugs, and recovered mentally. Father noted Mother "`has her good side, her endearing side, her comforting and loving side, [but] it is the bad side that outweighs all others when it shows.'" Vanessa reported she wanted Mother to get better "`because she's my mom and I love her.'" Vanessa also stated she did not feel safe with Mother. She said that, on September 27, she heard Mother and not John M. yelling and it scared her. Vanessa also said Mother drank wine and sometimes would drive with Vanessa in the car after having two glasses of wine. Vanessa said Mother was mad at her for telling the truth.

Finally, Eva P. believed Mother had a substance abuse and mental health problem and needed help. She said she had seen Mother use cocaine in the past and had seen her drunk at least 30 times. Eva P. also reported she had seen Mother drive drunk and knew she had driven while intoxicated with Vanessa in the car.

In a March 2016 last-minute information for the court, the Department reported problems had arisen during a few of Mother's visits with Vanessa. In particular, although Vanessa asked Mother to stop, Mother repeatedly pressured Vanessa to live with her. At one visit, Vanessa asked the monitor to end the visit because Mother kept pressing the point. Mother also questioned Vanessa and made her feel bad about her weight and religious practices. During one telephone visit, Vanessa hung up on Mother because she felt Mother was ignoring her requests to have Father monitor their visits.

In early March 2016, Mother submitted four drug test results, all of which were negative.

b. Testimony

The adjudication hearing began March 22, 2016, continued on April 4, 2016, and concluded on May 3, 2016. Mother testified and reiterated much of what she had told the Department social workers during their investigation. She denied having an alcohol problem or driving drunk with Vanessa in the car. She said that, although she had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings where she stated she was an alcoholic, she did not believe she was an alcoholic. Mother also denied any domestic violence on September 27 and she claimed she acted in self-defense in Florida in 2014. With respect to the September 27 incident, Mother said she had reached for John M.'s cell phone because she saw a text from another woman, but he pulled away, ran outside, and called 911. She testified she had been participating in a parenting class and a domestic violence class for perpetrators. Mother also stated she had provided nine references to the Department, but the social workers did not contact her references.2

John M. also testified at the adjudication hearing. He stated Mother was an "exceptional" mother to Vanessa and had a good relationship with her. He described the "exceptional amount of time" Mother spent doing activities with Vanessa. John M. also testified, however, that Mother had admitted to drinking and then driving Vanessa home on occasion and refusing John M.'s offers to drive instead. He did not know how much she had to drink on those occasions. He stated after Mother drank about two glasses of wine, he believed she became paranoid, suspicious, and jealous. He also said Mother typically drank wine after Vanessa was asleep, but there were a few times when Mother drank when Vanessa was with them and awake.

With respect to the September 27 incident, John M. stated Mother began arguing with him over an upcoming trip he was taking. He said he had some wine with Mother and a friend at Mother's home. After the friend left, Mother would not allow him to leave and took his car keys. When John M. told Mother he would call the police if she did not return his keys, Mother "came after [John M.] to try to get [his] cell phone . . . so that [he] would not call the police." "She grabbed ahold of [his] shirt" and they wrestled around the house and in the front yard. John M. "threw [himself] on the ground so she would let go of [his] shirt," which she did, but she kept chasing him around the yard. Eventually, John M. called the police and Mother began throwing John M.'s belongings from the house onto the front porch. John M. testified that, although Mother "attacked" him, she did not physically harm him but he did have some scratches on his body after the incident. He said the September 27 incident was the only physical altercation he had with Mother.

Other witnesses reiterated what was reported in the Department's reports to the court. In addition to the reported negative interactions at some of Mother's visits with Vanessa, a Department social worker as well as one of Mother's friends who monitored visits both testified Mother and Vanessa had positive interactions during their visits. Finally, Mother submitted two additional letters of reference to the court.

c. The Juvenile Court's Findings

On May 3, 2016, at the conclusion of the adjudication hearing, the juvenile court stated, "[I]t's possible to be a good parent in various respects but also harming your child in other ways and causing harm that is of a kind and degree that is sufficient for dependency jurisdiction, and this is such a case." The court found there was an ongoing risk that Mother would end up in another domestic violence situation with someone else. The juvenile court dismissed the a-1 and a-2 counts of the petition, but sustained the b-1, b-2, and b-4 counts as pleaded. The court amended the b-3 count by deleting its reference to drug abuse and sustained that count as amended. The court found Vanessa to be a person described by section 300, subdivision (b).

4. Disposition and Appeal

The juvenile court found that although Mother had enrolled in classes, she had made no progress because she refused to take responsibility for her actions or behaviors. The court ordered Vanessa detained from Mother and placed with Father. The juvenile court ordered Mother and Father to share joint legal custody of Vanessa, but ordered sole physical custody to Father with monitored visits for Mother. The court terminated jurisdiction pending receipt of a family court order, which the court received on May 6, 2016.

On May 6, 2016, Mother appealed the juvenile court's jurisdictional findings and dispositional orders.


Mother argues there was insufficient evidence to support the juvenile court's jurisdictional findings. As discussed below, we disagree.

1. Standard of Review

We review the juvenile court's findings and orders to determine whether they are supported by substantial evidence. (In re Jonathan B. (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 115, 119.) We will affirm if there is reasonable, credible evidence of solid value to support the court's findings. (Ibid.) "In making this determination, we draw all reasonable inferences from the evidence to support the findings and orders of the dependency court; we review the record in the light most favorable to the court's determinations; and we note that issues of fact and credibility are the province of the trial court." (In re Heather A. (1996) 52 Cal.App.4th 183, 193.) "We do not reweigh the evidence or exercise independent judgment, but merely determine if there are sufficient facts to support the findings of the trial court." (In re Matthew S. (1988) 201 Cal.App.3d 315, 321.)

2. Applicable Law

The juvenile court declared dependency jurisdiction over Vanessa under section 300, subdivision (b)(1). The relevant portions of that subdivision require proof that "[t]he child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that the child will suffer, serious physical harm or illness, as a result of the failure or inability of his or her parent . . . to adequately supervise or protect the child . . . or by the inability of the parent . . . to provide regular care for the child due to the parent's . . . substance abuse." (§ 300, subd. (b)(1).)

"Although section 300 generally requires proof the child is subject to the defined risk of harm at the time of the jurisdiction hearing [citations], the court need not wait until a child is seriously abused or injured to assume jurisdiction and take steps necessary to protect the child [citation]. The court may consider past events in deciding whether a child presently needs the court's protection. [Citation.] A parent's `"[p]ast conduct may be probative of current conditions" if there is reason to believe that the conduct will continue.'" (In re Christopher R. (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 1210, 1215-1216.) Nonetheless, "[a]lthough evidence of past conduct may be probative of current conditions, the court must determine `whether circumstances at the time of the hearing subject the minor to the defined risk of harm.' [Citations.] Evidence of past conduct, without more, is insufficient to support a jurisdictional finding under section 300. There must be some reason beyond mere speculation to believe the alleged conduct will recur." (In re James R. (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 129, 135-136.)

A parent's failure to take responsibility for, or to recognize the negative effects of, his or her conduct is relevant to the court's consideration of risk under section 300. "`[D]enial is a factor often relevant to determining whether persons are likely to modify their behavior in the future without court supervision.'" (In re A.F. (2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 283, 293.) "One cannot correct a problem one fails to acknowledge." (In re Gabriel K. (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 188, 197.)

3. The juvenile court's jurisdictional findings are supported by substantial evidence.

a. Counts Related to Mother's Alcohol Abuse (Counts b-3 and b-4 of the Petition)

Mother argues neither of the counts in the petition related to her alcohol abuse is supported by substantial evidence. As explained below, we disagree.

We conclude substantial evidence supports count b-3. As amended and sustained by the juvenile court, count b-3 states: "[Mother] is a current abuser of alcohol which renders [Mother] incapable of providing regular care for the child. On 09-27-15 [and] numerous prior occasions, [Mother] was under the influence of alcohol while the child was in [Mother's] care and supervision. [Mother's] substance abuse endanger[s] the child's physical health and safety and create[s] a detrimental home environment, placing the child at risk of serious physical harm and damage." Mother argues the juvenile court erred in sustaining this count because there was no evidence she suffered from substance abuse, she was not a "current abuser" of alcohol, and she was able to care for Vanessa. We address each point in turn.

In cases such as this, where there is no formal medical diagnosis of substance abuse, courts consider whether the parent demonstrates "`[a] maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period: [¶] (1) recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household)[; ¶] (2) recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use)[; ¶] (3) recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for substance-related disorderly conduct)[; and ¶] (4) continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication, physical fights).'" (In re Drake M. (2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 754, 766, quoting Am. Psychiatric Assn., Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed. 2000) p. 199.) As explained below, the evidence amply demonstrated Mother's alcohol use fell within elements (2), (3), and (4), and thus supported a finding that Mother suffered from alcohol abuse.

To be sure, as Mother points out, the evidence demonstrated she had never physically harmed Vanessa and is an involved and loving mother. However, the evidence also revealed Mother abused alcohol, which according to many witnesses has a profoundly negative effect on her behavior and relationships. Mother's two domestic violence arrests both occurred when Mother was clearly intoxicated. The police reports from those incidents detail Mother's belligerent and physically aggressive behavior when intoxicated. Mother's behavior while intoxicated contributed to the breakdown of her relationship with Barry R. and with John M. Father stated Mother's behavior changed "drastically" when she drank alcohol and she became physical, paranoid, and accusatory. Similarly, John M. stated Mother became paranoid, suspicious, jealous, and irrationally accusatory when she drank alcohol. And Mother's estranged friend Eva P. witnessed Mother's behavior change for the worse as a result of alcohol. In addition, an existing family court order prohibited Mother from drinking alcohol in Vanessa's presence. Yet, despite that order, Mother continued to drink in Vanessa's presence. And the evidence showed Mother drove while intoxicated with Vanessa in the car. We conclude substantial evidence supports the finding that, despite no formal diagnosis and her protestations to the contrary, Mother suffered from alcohol abuse, which in turn put Vanessa at risk of physical harm.

Mother also argues the b-3 count is not supported by substantial evidence because it incorrectly states she was a "current abuser of alcohol." Mother claims that, at the time the jurisdiction hearing began, she had been sober for five months and, therefore, was not a "current" abuser of alcohol. While Mother's sobriety is certainly commendable, we disagree that she was not a current abuser of alcohol at the time of the jurisdictional hearing. Mother consistently denied having any problem whatsoever with alcohol. From her interviews with Department social workers to her testimony before the juvenile court, Mother vehemently denied abusing alcohol. Instead of taking even partial responsibility for her conduct that led to two arrests and these dependency proceedings, Mother denied she injured anyone, denied she was intoxicated, and denied the accuracy of two police reports. She also denied driving drunk. And despite attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, where she stated she was an alcoholic, Mother testified before the juvenile court she actually did not believe she was an alcoholic. Thus, when viewed in light of the entire record and, most notably, her persistent denial of any alcohol-related problems, the juvenile court's finding that Mother was a current abuser of alcohol is supported by substantial evidence. Clearly, Mother's issues with alcohol abuse were not resolved at the time of the jurisdiction hearing. (See In re Gabriel K., supra, 203 Cal.App.4th at p. 197 ["One cannot correct a problem one fails to acknowledge"].)

Finally, Mother also argues the b-3 count is not supported by substantial evidence because it incorrectly states she is incapable of caring for Vanessa. Again, to be clear, the evidence demonstrated Mother cared for and loved Vanessa and never physically harmed her. However, substantial evidence also supported the juvenile court's finding that, nonetheless, Vanessa was at risk of serious physical harm. For example, the evidence showed Mother became physical when she drank alcohol, denied she had any problem with alcohol, drank while in Vanessa's presence (despite a court order prohibiting her from doing so), and drove while intoxicated with Vanessa in the car. Eva P. also reported an incident when Mother drank so much that Vanessa slept in a room with Eva P. instead of in her own room. We conclude substantial evidence supported the b-3 count.

Similarly, we conclude substantial evidence supports count b-4. The sustained b-4 count states: "On numerous prior occasions, [Mother] placed the child in a detrimental and endangering situation by driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol while the child was a passenger in the vehicle. Such a detrimental and endangering situation established by [Mother] endangers the child's physical health and safety and creates a detrimental home environment, placing the child at risk of serious physical and emotional harm, damage, danger and death."

Although Mother adamantly denied she ever drove drunk with Vanessa in the car, others told a different story. Eva P. recounted a time when Mother said she was "`lit'" and her speech was slurred. Despite Eva P.'s offer to drive Vanessa home on that occasion, Mother refused and said, "`It's ok. It's not far'" and "`I've done it before.'" Similarly, John M. reported several instances when Mother drove Vanessa home after drinking at a friend's house for hours and refused his offer to drive instead. And, while Vanessa first said Mother did not drink and drive with her in the car, Vanessa then said Mother drove her home after drinking "one or a few" glasses of wine at friends' houses. Thus, although there were conflicting reports about Mother's drinking and driving, we do not reweigh the evidence on appeal. (In re Matthew S., supra, 201 Cal.App.3d at p. 321.) The record includes substantial evidence supporting the juvenile court's finding on count b-4. And it cannot reasonably be disputed that driving while under the influence of alcohol puts everyone in the car at risk of serious physical harm.

b. Counts Related to Domestic Violence

(Counts b-1 and b-2 of the Petition)

Because substantial evidence supports counts b-3 and b-4 of the petition, we need not address Mother's arguments with respect to the remaining counts of the petition (counts b-1 and b-2). "When a dependency petition alleges multiple grounds for its assertion that a minor comes within the dependency court's jurisdiction, a reviewing court can affirm the juvenile court's finding of jurisdiction over the minor if any one of the statutory bases for jurisdiction that are enumerated in the petition is supported by substantial evidence. In such a case, the reviewing court need not consider whether any or all of the other alleged statutory grounds for jurisdiction are supported by the evidence." (In re Alexis E. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 438, 451; see also In re A.F., supra, 3 Cal.App.5th at p. 290.)

4. Dispositional Orders

Mother does not challenge the juvenile court's dispositional orders independent from the court's jurisdictional findings. Rather, she argues the dispositional orders must be reversed if we reverse the jurisdictional findings. Because we affirm the juvenile court's jurisdictional findings, we affirm the court's dispositional orders as well.


The orders are affirmed.

CHANEY, Acting P. J. and JOHNSON, J., concurs.


1. Subsequent undesignated statutory references are to the Welfare and Institutions Code.
2. In contrast, a Department social worker testified Mother gave her one reference to contact, specifically James B., whom the social worker contacted.


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