Within recent years, a dispute has arisen in the courts of appeal over the proper standards of proof required to support a petition brought to invoke a court's dependency jurisdiction under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300 or to terminate parental rights pursuant to Civil Code section 232. After examining the source of the confusion surrounding the standards of proof in proceedings under those statutes, the Note explores the practical implications for the competing interests in these proceedings of applying the "clear and convincing evidence" standard and suggests that the "preponderance of the evidence" standard more adequately protects those competing interests. The author proposes legislative reform to end the confusion regarding the standard of proof and to insure that these proceedings are conducted in a fair and efficient manner.
David V. Otterson,
Dependency and Termination Proceedings in California--Standards of Proof,
30 Hastings L.J. 1815
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_law_journal/vol30/iss6/6