have held that de facto parents are only granted standing at the
dispositional hearing and beyond.97 The California Rules of Court
also limit de facto parent recognition to the dispositional hearing and
beyond, and do not recognize that status at the initial hearing or
jurisdictional hearing.98 The language and principle behind the
California Supreme Court’s holding in In re B.G., however, is
broader and states that de facto parents “should be permitted to
appear as parties in juvenile court proceedings,” not just at
dispositional or subsequent hearings, and they “should be permitted
to appear as parties to assert and protect their interest in the
companionship, care, custody and management of the child.”99 Yet,
subsequently, courts have not treated de facto parents as full parties
to the proceedings, even at the dispositional hearing and later
hearings, and have limited the role of de facto parents to little more
than amici curiae.100 The California Rules of Court should be
97 See, e.g., In re Damion B., 135 Cal. Rptr. 3d 742, 744 (Ct. App. 2011); In re
B.F., 118 Cal. Rptr. 3d 561, 565 (Ct. App. 2010); In re P.L., 37 Cal. Rptr. 3d 6, 8
(Ct. App. 2005); In re Matthew P., 84 Cal. Rptr. 2d 269, 272 (Ct. App. 1999); In re
Cynthia C., 69 Cal. Rptr. 2d 1, 8 (Ct. App. 1997); In re Patricia L., 11 Cal. Rptr.
2d at 635.
98 Note that, in interpreting this rule, the usual rules of statutory construction apply.
See Conservatorship of Coombs, 79 Cal. Rptr. 2d 799, 801 (Ct. App. 1998).
However, as pointed out by the court in In re Joel H., because California’s Judicial
Council promulgated the rule of court, and not the legislature, inferences cannot be
drawn regarding legislative intent. See In re Joel H., 23 Cal. Rptr. 2d 878, 883 (Ct.
App. 1993). For example, in speaking to whether de facto parents have standing to
appeal, the court held that, to the extent the rule of court conflicts with In re B.G.
and the CALIFORNIA WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE, the rule of court is void.
See id. (citing In re Rachael C., 1 Cal. Rptr. 2d 473, 479 (Ct. App. 1991); In re
B.G., 523 P.2d 244).
99 See In re B.G., 523 P.2d at 254 (emphasis added).
100 See In re Damion B., 135 Cal. Rptr. 3d at 744 (stating that de facto parents did
not have the right to cross-examine witnesses at 18-month review hearing); In re
B.F., 118 Cal. Rptr. 3d at 565; In re Patricia L., 11 Cal. Rptr. 2d at 635 (de facto
parent had no right to custody or continued placement, and therefore did not have
legal standing to complain of placement of child with new prospective adoptive
couple); Clifford S. v. Superior Court, 45 Cal. Rptr. 2d, 333, 337-38 (Ct. App.
1995); In re Matthew P., 84 Cal. Rptr. 2d at 272; In re Jamie G., 241 Cal. Rptr.
869, 875 (Ct. App. 1987) (de facto parents are not entitled to reunification services,