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§2.09 Evidence

[1] Interested Persons
[2] Privileges

The juvenile court has broad discretion in deciding the admissibility of evidence, and is only reversible on appeal based on a clear showing of abuse of discretion. [In re Cole C. (2009) 174 CA4th 900, 911.]

If a timely objection is made to hearsay evidence at a hearing in a dependency proceeding and no hearsay exception applies, the evidence must be corroborated. [In re R.R. (2010) 187 CA4th 1264, 1280.]

[1] Interested Persons

At any time after a petition is filed and before jurisdiction is terminated, any interested person may inform you about an interest or right of the child that should be protected in other judicial or administrative forums. [CRC 5.660(g).]

[2] Privileges

The child or the child’s counsel may invoke the psychotherapist-client, physician-patient, attorney-client, and clergyman-penitent privileges. If counsel invokes a privilege, the child may waive it if he or she is of sufficient age and maturity. There is a presumption that the child is of sufficient age and maturity to consent if the child is over 12 years of age. This presumption, however, may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. [WIC §317(f).]


Therapy has dual purposes in the context of dependency proceedings: (1) to treat effects of abuse and neglect; and (2) to disclose information from which recommendations and decisions can be made for the child’s welfare. [In re Cole C. (2009) 174 CA4th 900, 912.]

No one, however, may assert [CRC 5.684(e)]:

  • The privilege not to testify or to be called as a witness against a spouse or domestic partner [EC §972]; or
  • The confidential marital communication privilege [EC §980].

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© 2006 by Judicial Council of California
updated as of January 1, 2012