In re Matthew S.

49 Cal. Rptr. 2d 139 (1996)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

In re Matthew S.

California Court of Appeal
49 Cal. Rptr. 2d 139 (1996)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

Alexandra S. (defendant) had three children, including a 16-year-old daughter and 13-year-old Matthew S. The children’s father was absent and provided erratic child support. Alexandra had a psychiatric condition causing her to suffer ongoing morbid delusions, including that Matthew’s penis had been mutilated and that she had been married to actor Gregory Harrison who was murdered by the mafia. Based on her delusions, Alexandra tried to inspect Matthew’s penis and made Matthew undergo a medical examination by a urologist, who found no evidence of injury to Matthew’s penis. The urologist was concerned for Matthew’s well-being and contacted the department of social services (the department) (plaintiff). The department conducted a thorough investigation. Alexandra had recently lost her job as a dietitian at a hospital. Alexandra had been molested as a child and suicidal as a teenager. Alexandra admitted her current condition and that she needed psychiatric help. When Alexandra was told that Gregory Harrison was alive, Alexandra suggested that his murder and funeral had been staged. Alexandra maintained that Matthew’s penis had been injured. Alexandra’s daughter confirmed her mother’s delusions. Matthew was reluctant to speak about the incident. Both children were confused by Alexandra’s delusions but otherwise had a good, warm relationship with their mother and wanted to remain living with her. Matthew reported that he had never felt threatened by Alexandra. The department filed a dependency petition as to Matthew based on several grounds and allowed him to remain living with Alexandra. The trial court declared Matthew a dependent child based on findings that he was at risk of serious physical and emotional harm and was without provision for support. Alexandra appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gilbert, J.)

Dissent (Stone, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership