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Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

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Horvitz & Levy LLP successfully represented The Alliance for Children’s Rights in this pro bono appeal concerning an issue of great importance to tens of thousands of children in foster care in Los Angeles County. 

State law generally requires each foster child to be visited at least once a month by Los Angeles County social workers, but allows the social workers to obtain waivers of the visitation requirement – resulting in visits only once every three or six months – when certain specified criteria are met and when there is “written supervisory approval.” On the request of The Alliance, which was concerned that visitation waivers were being overused by the County to the detriment of foster children, the juvenile court issued a blanket order establishing a procedure for the court’s monitoring of visitation waivers. Under the court’s order, a social worker must submit a report to the court when he or she obtains a waiver, specifying the facts supporting the waiver. The court then holds a hearing to determine whether the waiver will be authorized.

The County appealed, mostly on separation of powers grounds, claiming the order arrogates to the juvenile court powers that state law gives only to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and to the County’s Board of Supervisors. The Alliance called on Horvitz & Levy to defend the court’s order and the Court of Appeal affirmed in a published opinion. The court found the County’s objections to the order to be “inconsistent with the dependency court’s undisputed power to regulate visitation frequency in each case.” (95 Cal.App.4th at p. 1143.)