Filed 12/11/09 In re Peter C. CA4/1
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS
California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for
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or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.
COURT OF APPEAL, FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
In re PETER C. et al., Persons Coming
Under the Juvenile Court Law.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY HEALTH AND
HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY,
(Super. Ct. No. EJ1641C-E)
Plaintiff and Respondent,
Defendant and Appellant.
APPEAL from orders of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Carol Isackson,
William C., father of dependent minors Peter C., Jennifer C. and Melissa C.
(collectively, the minors), appeals after the juvenile court continued a family maintenance
review hearing and set the matter for a contested hearing at William's request. William
seeks to challenge the court's tentative evidentiary ruling and interim visitation order,
both of which the court later addressed at the contested hearing. We dismiss the appeal
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The lengthy factual and procedural history of this case is set forth in this court's
prior opinions and need not be restated here. (In re Peter C. (Mar. 9, 2009, D053567)
[nonpub. opn.]; In re Peter C. (Sept. 11, 2009, D054365) [nonpub. opn.]; In re Peter C.
(Oct. 9, 2009, D054906) [nonpub. opn.]; In re Peter C. (Dec. 3, 2009, D055032)
[nonpub. opn.].) Instead, we focus on events that are relevant to the June 22, 2009,
hearing at issue in this appeal.
In a report prepared for the June 22 family maintenance review hearing, the social
worker for the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (Agency)
recommended that the court continue its jurisdiction, continue placement of the minors
with their mother Tammy, terminate William's services, and continue supervised visits
William has been in a sober living facility since December 2008. He denied
having an alcohol problem or history of violent behavior, and refused to participate in
services. Melissa was the only child who was willing to attend recent visits with
William. William threatened to go to Tammy's house if the minors did not show up for a
scheduled visit. Although Tammy supports the minors having a relationship with
William, she is concerned about his behavior and his anger toward her.
On June 17, 2009, William filed a Welfare and Institutions Code 1 section 388
petition for modification seeking unsupervised visits with the minors, or alternatively,
visits with the minors supervised by the director of the sober living facility where
William lives. William alleged that Tammy and the social worker had been preventing
visits from taking place, and that the minors need and want to see him.
The matter came before the court for a family maintenance review hearing on June
22, at which William appeared in propria persona. The court acknowledged having
received William's section 388 modification petition. The court explained the scope of
the family maintenance review hearing and the nature of Agency's recommendations, and
informed William that he had a right to contest those recommendations. The court stated
that William could not challenge placement of the minors with Tammy, noting that its
ruling was "tentative." The court granted William's request for a contested hearing.
The court also found that William's section 388 modification petition was
incomplete in that he had left certain sections blank. The court denied the petition
without prejudice and took the matter off calendar.
As to visitation, William stated at the hearing that he was having some visits with
Melissa and telephone calls with Jennifer and Peter. He also had a supervised visit with
all three minors on June 19 at Crisis House. William's interaction with the staff at Crisis
House caused them to refuse to supervise future visits. The court confirmed its orders for
1 Statutory references are to the Welfare and Institutions Code.
supervised visitation between William and the minors, and directed Agency to follow up
with a plan for further supervised visits at a time that was convenient for everyone
William purports to challenge the court's visitation orders and its ruling denying
his request to present evidence regarding the minors' placement with Tammy. County
Counsel responds that William's appeal should be dismissed because the challenged
orders and the ruling are nonappealable, and have been rendered moot by the subsequent
hearing. In a letter to the court, William concedes that the issues he raised in his opening
brief are now moot and that he should raise them in the appeal he filed on September 25,
An appellate court will not review questions that are moot and only of academic
interest, nor will it determine abstract questions of law at the request of a party who
shows no substantial rights can be affected by the decision. (In re Esperanza C. (2008)
165 Cal.App.4th 1042, 1054.) An appeal becomes moot when, through no fault of the
respondent, the occurrence of an event renders it impossible for the appellate court to
grant the appellant effective relief. (Id. at pp. 1054-1055; In re Jessica K. (2000) 79
Cal.App.4th 1313, 1315-1316.)
2 We grant Agency's request for judicial notice of William's notice of appeal, filed
on September 25, 2009, challenging: (1) the findings and orders made at the contested
family maintenance review hearing; and (2) the denial of his section 388 modification
Here, the juvenile court made no final rulings at the family maintenance review
hearing on June 22 that affected William's rights. Instead, the court granted William's
request for a contested hearing at which he was able to participate and to present
evidence on the issues he seeks to raise in this appeal, including visitation. On
September 9, 2009, the juvenile court held an evidentiary hearing on William's section
388 modification petition, challenging the placement of the minors with Tammy. 3
William has now appealed those findings and orders, and can properly address them in
the context of his most recent appeal. The subsequent proceedings in juvenile court
render this appeal moot. (See In re Karen G. (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 1384, 1390.)
The appeal is dismissed.
McCONNELL, P. J.
3 We grant Agency's request for judicial notice of subsequent juvenile court minute