The buzz is going around today that the California Juvenile court, which was the original court to hear the in Re: Rachel L. case, has terminated jurisdiction over the two minors in the case.
This is the email that has been sent out by HSLDA.
July 11, 2008
Favorable Development in the California Homeschooling Case
Thank you for your continued prayers for the California homeschooling case, In re Rachel L. Last night, Mr. L’s attorney in the juvenile court reported to Home School Legal Defense Association that the juvenile court judge terminated jurisdiction over the two youngest L children in a hearing held on July 10, 2008. Mr. L is represented by Gary Kreep, who is the director of the California-based United States Justice Foundation, which has long been a close ally of HSLDA and homeschoolers in California.
Two years ago, the children’s court-appointed lawyers had asked that the two children be ordered to attend a school outside the home. That request became the basis for the court’s February ruling that homeschooling is illegal in California. The appellate court later vacated its own decision and set the case for rehearing. Oral argument on the rehearing was held on June 23, 2008 and a decision could be handed down at any time.
Mr. L’s appellate attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund will be making the appellate court aware of this new development immediately. They will move to dismiss the petition pending in the court of appeal on the ground that the petition is now moot. In other words, the children are no longer under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Therefore, any decision by the appellate court based on the two-year-old petition could not be enforced against the L children.
“This is a significant favorable development toward preserving homeschooling freedom in California,” said Mike Farris, Chairman and Founder of HSLDA.
Right now, the three state-wide homeschooling groups are remaining quiet. In an unofficial email sent out to one of the groups, it was made clear that the reason that they are quiet, is because they cannot be certain what this means for the case, despite Mike Farris’ confidence. Just as with everything that has happened thus far, there are many possible outcomes.
For now, don’t pop open the champagne. On the surface, this looks like a positive development for the homeschooling angle of the case. But we still can’t be sure.
As soon as the statewide groups offer an official statement, I’ll pass it along.