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§4.02 Grounds for Jurisdiction

A child who is described by any of the following subdivisions of WIC §300 falls within the juvenile court’s jurisdiction, and may be determined (at the disposition hearing) to be a dependent of the court:

  • The child suffered, or is at substantial risk of suffering, serious physical harm inflicted nonaccidentally by the child’s parent or guardian [WIC §300(a)].
Example
  • The child suffered, or is at substantial risk of suffering, serious physical harm or illness because of the parent’s or guardian’s [WIC §300(b)]:
    • Failure or inability to adequately supervise or protect the child;
    • Inability to provide regular care due to the parent’s or guardian’s mental illness, developmental disability, or substance abuse;
    • Willful or negligent failure to adequately supervise or protect the child from his or her custodian; or
    • Willful or negligent failure to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment.

    Tip

Example
  • The child is suffering, or is at substantial risk of suffering, serious emotional damage because of the parent’s or guardian’s conduct or because there is no parent or guardian capable of providing appropriate care [WIC §300(c)]. You must not assume jurisdiction on this ground if the failure to provide suitable mental health care is based on a sincerely held religious belief and a less intrusive judicial intervention is available [see WIC §300(c)].
Example
  • The child was, or is at substantial risk of being, sexually abused by his or her parent or guardian or by a member of the household [WIC §300(d); see Pen C §11165.1].
  • Tip

  • The parent or guardian failed to adequately protect the child from sexual abuse when the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of sexual abuse [WIC §300(d)].
  • The child is under the age of five years and suffered severe physical abuse by a parent or by someone known to the parent and the parent knew or reasonably should have known of the abuse [WIC §300(e)].
  •  

Example
  • The child’s parent or guardian caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect [WIC §300(f)].
  • The child was subjected to an act of cruelty by the parent or guardian or a household member [WIC §300(i)].
Example
  • The parent or guardian failed to adequately protect the child from an act of cruelty when the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in danger [WIC §300(i)].
Example
  • The child’s sibling was abused or neglected (as defined in WIC §300(a), (b), (d), (e), or (i), above), and there is a substantial risk that the child will be abused or neglected [WIC §300(j); In re Ashley B. (2011) 202 CA4th 968, 980 (express finding regarding sibling not required)].
  • The parent or guardian left the child without any provision for support [WIC §300(g)];
Example
  • The child’s parent was incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot arrange for the child’s care [WIC §300(g)].
Example

Tip

  • A relative or other adult custodian with whom the child resides or was left is unwilling or unable to provide care or support, the parent’s whereabouts are unknown, and reasonable efforts to locate the parent were unsuccessful [WIC §300(g)].
  • A parent or other lawful custodian voluntarily surrenders physical custody of a newborn pursuant to H&SC §1255.7 and the child was not reclaimed within a 14-day period [WIC §300(g)].
  • The child was freed for adoption by one or both parents for one year by either relinquishment or termination of parental rights, or an adoption petition has not been granted [WIC §300(h)].

For a printable list of these grounds, click on the checklist below.

How Would You Rule? Question & Answer

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