Burden of Proof in Removal of a Child From His or Her Parent's Custody in California

California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 361, subdivision (c)(1), authorizes removal of a child from his or her parent's custody only if the juvenile court finds by clear and convincing evidence that "there is or would be a substantial danger to the physical health, safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being" of the child if the child were returned home and "there are no reasonable means by which the child's physical health can be protected without removing" the child from his or her parent's custody. "The burden of proof at the jurisdiction phase in the juvenile court is preponderance of the evidence; the burden of proof at disposition is clear and convincing evidence. ( 355, subd. (a) jurisdiction findings by preponderance of evidence; 361, subd. (c) disposition findings by clear and convincing evidence.) Nonetheless, we review both jurisdiction findings and the disposition order for substantial evidence. (See Sheila S. v. Superior Court (2000) 84 Cal.App.4th 872, 880-881 'The "clear and convincing" standard . . . is for the edification and guidance of the trial court and not a standard for appellate review. . "'The sufficiency of evidence to establish a given fact, where the law requires proof of the fact to be clear and convincing, is primarily a question for the trial court to determine, and if there is substantial evidence to support its conclusion, the determination is not open to review on appeal.'"'; .)" (In re Christopher R., supra, 225 Cal.App.4th at p. 1216, fn. 4.) "'A removal order is proper if based on proof of a parental inability to provide proper care for the child and proof of a potential detriment to the child if he or she remains with the parent.'" (In re A.S. (2011) 202 Cal.App.4th 237, 247.) Jurisdiction findings are prima facie evidence the child cannot safely remain in the custody of the parent. (In re Hailey T. (2012) 212 Cal.App.4th 139, 146.) "The parent need not be dangerous and the child need not have been actually harmed before removal is appropriate." (Ibid.) "'"The focus of the statute is on averting harm to the child."'" (In re A.S., at p. 247.) "'The court may consider a parent's past conduct as well as present circumstances.'" (Ibid.; see In re Christopher R. (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 1210, 1215-1216.) Evidence of domestic violence may support jurisdiction findings and removal orders even if the children are not physically harmed as a result of the abuse. (In re T.V. (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 126, 134-137 although child not physically harmed as a result of domestic violence between the parents, violence between parents while child was present was sufficient to sustain jurisdiction and disposition order removing child from parental custody; see In re Heather A.(1996) 52 Cal.App.4th 183, 195 removal proper based on father's history of violent relationships with women, which showed that children were at risk of exposure to abuse even if father did not intend children to be harmed.) We review the juvenile court's disposition orders for substantial evidence. (Los Angeles County Dept. of Children & Family Services v. Superior Court (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 962, 966; In re R.C. (2012) 210 Cal.App.4th 930, 940.) Under this standard "we review the record to determine whether there is any substantial evidence to support the juvenile court's conclusions, and we resolve all conflicts and make all reasonable inferences from the evidence to uphold the court's orders, if possible." (In re David M. (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 822, 828; accord, In re Christopher R., supra, 225 Cal.App.4th at p. 1216; In re Savannah M. (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 1387, 1393.)