Section 388 Petition
Section 388 provides that a parent "may, upon grounds of change of circumstance or new evidence, petition the court . . . for a hearing to change, modify, or set aside any order of court previously made . . . . If it appears that the best interests of the child may be promoted by the proposed change of order . . ., the court shall order that a hearing be held . . . ."
Section 388 "provides the 'escape mechanism' that . . . allows the dependency court to consider new information" after efforts to reunify the parents with the child have been terminated and the focus has shifted to the child's need for a permanent, stable home with a nonparent. (In re Marilyn H. (1993) 5 Cal. 4th 295, 309 19 Cal. Rptr. 2d 544, 851 P.2d 826.)
The dependency court must order a hearing if a section 388 petition makes a prima facie showing of changed circumstances and that a hearing would promote the best interests of the child. (In re Zachary G. (1999) 77 Cal. App. 4th 799, 805-807 92 Cal. Rptr. 2d 20; In re Hashem H. (1996) 45 Cal. App. 4th 1791, 1798-1799 53 Cal. Rptr. 2d 294.)
An order of the dependency court terminating parental rights may be modified only by a timely direct appeal from the order. (In re Meranda P. (1997) 56 Cal. App. 4th 1143, 1161 65 Cal. Rptr. 2d 913.)
It is not subject to collateral attack, such as by petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Ibid.)
"Any order of the court permanently terminating parental rights under section 366.26 shall be conclusive and binding upon the child, upon the parent or parents and upon all other persons who have been served with citation by publication or otherwise as provided in this chapter.
After making the order, the court shall have no power to set aside, change, or modify it, but nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right to appeal the order." ( 366.26, subd. (i).)