State statutes governing dependency proceedings are set out generally in Welf. & Inst. Code § 300 et seq. Dependency proceedings are special proceedings traditionally viewed as being governed by their own set of rules and statutes.
Because of the parents' work schedules, they left their minor child at the home of the paternal grandfather and the paternal great aunt. On a Wednesday in March 2011, the grandfather, who had been home alone with eight-month-old took her to a hospital. When she arrived, she was limp, pale, and nonresponsive. CPR was administered and she was transferred to Rady Children's Hospital, where testing "showed presence of a right subdural hematoma which was mixed density, acute or acute and chronic," and bilateral retinol hemorrhages "most consistent with subacute."
The parents told the attending physician that the child was healthy when they left her with the grandfather the previous day and they were unaware of any traumatic event. The parents reported that the grandfather told them he walked away from the child when she was lying down drinking a bottle. He heard her begin to choke and returned to her, finding her limp.
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency took the child into protective custody and filed a petition on her behalf under section 300, subdivision (b). The petition alleges that the child's injuries "would ordinarily not be sustained except as the result of the unreasonable or neglectful acts or omissions of the parents of the child and there is substantial risk that the child will suffer serious physical harm or illness." (See § 355.1, subd. (a).)