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Family Law

[07/26] In re A.H.
Parents’ appeal of the juvenile court’s order denying mother’s Motion to Vacate a Default Judgment the order denying parents’ modification motion to place the children with relatives are dismissed, where: 1) the record does not demonstrate that parents’ failure to comply with the writ requirement should be excused for exceptional circumstances constituting good cause; and 2) the parents’ contentions actually challenge prior determinations and orders; and thus, none of parents’ contentions raised on appeal concerning earlier final appealable orders are cognizable.

[07/24] Sykes v. Bank of America
Judgment dismissing plaintiff’s 1983 action to prevent the agency-defendants and the defendant-bank from levying against his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to enforce a child support order entered by a New York court is: 1) vacated in part as to the dismissal of agency-defendants, and remanded, where a) SSI benefits are not based upon remuneration for employment within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. 659(a), so that section does not preclude plaintiff’s claim, and b) the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and the exception to federal jurisdiction for divorce matters do not preclude the district court from exercising jurisdiction over the matter; and 2) affirmed in part, as to the dismissal of defendant-bank, where plaintiff’s complaint has not alleged facts establishing that defendant-bank is a state actor for purposes of 42 U.S.C. section 1983.

[07/22] In re Nickolas T.
The juvenile court’s dispositional order denying Mother’s request for custody of her minor son is affirmed, where: 1) the minor’s California dependency proceeding was not a continuation of his Mississippi Youth Court case; 2) the juvenile court is required to consider a noncustodial parent’s request for custody under section 361.2(a), even if that parent was the subject of a finding of detriment in an earlier dependency case and did not retain the right to physical custody of the child; but 3) the error was not prejudicial to Mother, where there was substantial evidence that placement of the minor with Mother would be detrimental to the minor.

[07/18] In re H.K.
The juvenile court’s order denying minor’s request to be placed with C.K., her adult half-sibling who lives in Arizona is affirmed, where: 1) C.K. has a 1995 Oregon conviction of first degree manslaughter, which is equivalent to a conviction of voluntary manslaughter in California; 2) California law prohibits placement of a child in the home of any person, including a relative, who previously has been convicted of violent offenses including murder and voluntary manslaughter; 3) H.K. does not have a fundamental right to be placed with C.K.; and 4) the restriction on the placement passes constitutional muster under the rational relationship test as it is logically related to the protection of children in foster care, which is a compelling state interest.

[07/16] Burden v. Shinseki
Judgments of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims denying claimants’ claims for dependency and indemnity compensation are affirmed, where the Veterans Court correctly determined that state law, including state law evidentiary burdens, must be applied in determining the validity of a purported common law marriage.

[07/11] In re D.B.
Order by the juvenile court terminating the parents’ rights to visit their three youngest children is affirmed, where: 1) the preponderance-of-the-evidence burden of proof applied at the hearing; and 2) the boys and the Agency demonstrated sufficient “new evidence” under Welfare and Institutions Code section 388 to justify changing the previous court order that had authorized visitation.

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