Monday, June 30, 2008

Mardardo F. v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - June 30, 2008)

It's a depressing reflection of the world in which we live when the Court of Appeal is called upon to decide whether a statute that denies family reunification services when "a parent [] of the child has caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect" applies to a 27-year old father who raped and murdered a 13-year old girl when he was 15. Legally, yes, the statute's ambiguous: does the statute's reference to "another" child mean another child of the parent, or merely any other child in the world? And what about parents who, as here, only become parents after they committed the offense and served their time for the crime? Does the statute still apply?

So, legally, I totally understand why the Court of Appeal has to resolve the case. And rightly so.

Still. Doesn't the mere existence of this dispute bring you a fair piece down?

P.S. - Justice Davis holds that the statute applies to all children and even to parents who were not parents at the time of the death. Though calls the latter issue a "tough nut to crack".