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News from the Director

SUPREME COURT DECIDES ROLE OF MINOR’S COUNSEL IN DEPENDENCY APPEALS
August 15, 2003

On August 5th the California Supreme Court decided In re Zeth S. __Cal. 4th__, 03 CDOS 6909 (August 5, 2003). The court held that in a termination of parental rights appeal, it was error for the Court of Appeal to receive and consider postjudgment evidence outside the record on appeal. The Court of Appeal (4th District) had routinely appointed counsel for the minors in such cases, and requested minor’s counsel to provide the court with any relevant postjudgment evidence. (In Zeth S. the postjudgment information was that the adopting grandparent was now saying that he had not really wanted to adopt the minor.)

In the First District, appointments for non-appealing minors are relatively rare. However, if you are currently appointed to represent the minor in such an appeal, or if you receive such an appointment in the future, please make sure to review Zeth S. and to discuss your role with your FDAP buddy.

 

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