Denial of Parent Request for Contested Hearing In Dependency Proceedings

In Ingrid E. v. Superior Court (1999), 75 Cal. App. 4th 751, 754, 755, 756, the juvenile court denied the mother a contested 18-month review hearing, even after she had submitted a statement in support of her request. This court held that the juvenile court abused its discretion and denied the mother due process in denying her request for a contested hearing. (Id. at p. 759.) In so holding, we acknowledged the interest of the juvenile court in exercising broad control over dependency proceedings, and in the balancing of that interest against the interest of a parent. (Id. at pp. 758, 759.) We also noted the absence of statutory authority governing the rights of parents at reunification review hearings. (Id. at p. 758.) In Maricela C. v. Superior Court (1998) 66 Cal. App. 4th 1138 [78 Cal. Rptr. 2d 488] the court held the juvenile court was not obliged to grant the mother's request for a contested review hearing pursuant to the version then in effect of subdivision (f) of section 366.3. (66 Cal. App. 4th at p. 1141.) The minors had been placed in foster care, but the juvenile court also had scheduled a section 366.26 hearing. (66 Cal. App. 4th at p. 1142.) Moreover, the court had no occasion to construe language similar to the language found in subdivision (e). (66 Cal. App. 4th at p. 1143.)