Bare Bones Petition

Bare-bones petitions present the reviewing court with several options, each problematic for different reasons. Some courts have taken the view that a procedurally inadequate petition--one that does not comply with the requirements of rule 39.1B(j)--should be dismissed or summarily denied. (Anthony D. v. Superior Court (1998) 63 Cal. App. 4th 149, 157 [73 Cal. Rptr. 2d 479] [approving summary denial of petition that listed complaints but was filed before record and did not contain specific legal or factual support]; Nahid H. v. Superior Court (1997) 53 Cal. App. 4th 1051, 1056 [62 Cal. Rptr. 2d 281] [recognizing discretion to summarily dismiss a "meager" petition unaccompanied by points and authorities but choosing to entertain merits because of risk of "grave injustice" on facts]; Cheryl S. v. Superior Court, supra, 51 Cal. App. 4th at p. 1005 [announcing intention to dismiss as inadequate any rule 39.1B petition that does not "summarize the particular factual bases supporting the petition," "refer to specific portions of the record," "relate the facts to the grounds alleged as error," "note disputed aspects of the record," and "have attached to it a particularized memorandum of points and authorities"]; Cresse S. v. Superior Court, supra, 50 Cal. App. 4th at p. 956 [announcing intention to dismiss inadequate petitions "unless good cause is shown and a conforming petition supplants the defective one"]; Joyce G. v. Superior Court (1995) 38 Cal. App. 4th 1501, 1512 [45 Cal. Rptr. 2d 805] [deeming untimely filing of a petition, failure to "tender and 'substantively' to address a specific material issue or issues," and failure to provide an adequate record to be " 'exceptional circumstances' within the meaning of rule 39.1B(m) which excuse the court from reviewing and determining a petition on the merits"].) Some courts have further opted for summary denial on the merits of petitions that are procedurally adequate but fail to present meaningful argument, if the reviewing court does not find that the issue raised by the petition is arguable. ( Joyce G. v. Superior Court, supra, 38 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 1513-1514, 1518.) Another alternative open to a reviewing court is to require or offer the option to counsel to correct deficient petitions by filing amended petitions. Finally, a reviewing court might overlook the deficiencies in a petition and independently review the record for possible errors by the trial court.