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Parents Lose Son over Medical Marijuana Use

A couple in San Diego is continuing the fight to regain custody of their child, who was taken by the San Diego County Child Welfare Services, based on the presence medical marijuana in their home. Back in 2011, the mother returned home to find the apartment ransacked and her husband and six year old son gone. On further investigation, she found a card belonging to a social worker on her table.

After dialing the number, the social worker told her that the San Diego County Child Welfare Services had removed her son and placed him at the Polinsky Children’s Center in Kearny Mesa. The social worker refused to divulge additional information. The mother later found that her son was taken, and her husband arrested for possession, despite her husband having a government-issued medical-cannabis identification card. The child later tested negative for any drugs and admitted to never seeing anything resembling cannabis.

San Diego Juvenile Dependency Process

Juvenile dependency cases begin with allegations of child endangerment or abuse that cause the Child Protective Services to take the child into protective custody. The referral can be from a law enforcement agency, or through an anonymous referral through a teacher, neighbor or a doctor. 

Law enforcement then contacts the family to establish negligence or abuse. CPS then steps in to investigate. If they determine that the children are at risk, then through their lawyer, CPS removes the child from parental care and files a petition in a juvenile dependency court asking the court to take jurisdiction over the child. The court can also make decisions regarding the child and even offer placement options.

Parents can also apply for custody through the reunification services. This involves fixing the problems within the family that may put the child at harm’s way. The process normally lasts between six to eighteen months. Either parent may be successful. In some cases, the juvenile court may select a different permanent plan for the child through adoption, foster care or guardianship.

How Fischer and Van Thiel Law Can Help

If your child has been removed from your custody it is important to seek the assistance of an juvenile dependency attorney immediately. Every action, statement, and decision you make can significantly affect the outcome. 

Our attorneys have considerable experience in child dependency cases and work toward ensuring that you, as a parent, are compliant with all guidelines to avoid the court making any permanent plan.

To schedule a free consultation with one of the friendly and helpful attorneys at Fischer & Van Thiel LLP, we invite you to call us at (858) 935-6211 today.

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