Is CA homeschooling case now moot?

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Pacific Justice Institute, one of the attorney groups involved in the landmark California homeschooling case that initially ruled the practice illegal statewide, said a juvenile court ruling issued July 10 may render the entire matter moot.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said in July 11 news release that the juvenile dependency court overseeing the Southern California family has ended its monitoring of them, saying no more court oversight is needed.

Attorneys for the parents plan to immediately notify the Court of Appeal that the case is moot and should be dismissed. The court-appointed attorneys for the children, who have been pushing to have them forcibly enrolled in a non-homeschool, vowed, however, to appeal the juvenile courts decision.

"We are still digesting the full impact of this ruling, but it is a major development which should, for all practical purposes, end this case," Dacus said. "Again and again, the court-appointed attorneys for the (Rachel L.) children have relied on the oversight of the juvenile court as the basis for seeking a ruling that this family cannot homeschool.

"By terminating its jurisdiction, the court has severely undercut this position and yanked the rug out from all who have sought to use this case to criminalize homeschooling."

The California Court of Appeal reheard arguments in the case on June 23 after it reversed its own springtime decision by one of its three-judge panels. A ruling on that decision is expected within weeks.