Code Section

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 2. CHILDREN [100 - 1500]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 369. )
  

PART 1. DELINQUENTS AND WARDS OF THE JUVENILE COURT [100 - 1455]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 369. )
  

CHAPTER 2. Juvenile Court Law [200 - 987]

  ( Chapter 2 repealed and added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1616. )
  

ARTICLE 25. Support of Wards and Dependent Children [900 - 914]
  ( Heading of Article 25 renumbered from Article 16 by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068. )

  
903.  

(a) The father, mother, spouse, or other person liable for the support of a minor, the estate of that person, and the estate of the minor, shall be liable for the reasonable costs of support of the minor while the minor is placed, or detained in, or committed to, any institution or other place pursuant to Section 625 or pursuant to an order of the juvenile court. However, a county shall not levy charges for the costs of support of a minor detained pursuant to Section 625 unless, at the detention hearing, the juvenile court determines that detention of the minor should be continued. The liability of these persons and estates shall be a joint and several liability.

(b) The county shall limit the charges it seeks to impose to the reasonable costs of support of the minor and shall exclude any costs of treatment or supervision for the protection of society and the minor and the rehabilitation of the minor. In the event that court-ordered child support paid to the county pursuant to subdivision (a) exceeds the amount of the costs authorized by this subdivision and subdivision (a), the county shall either hold the excess in trust for the minor’s future needs pursuant to Section 302.52 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations or, with the approval of the minor’s caseworker, pay the excess directly to the minor.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this subdivision to protect the fiscal integrity of the county, to protect persons against whom the county seeks to impose liability from excessive charges, to ensure reasonable uniformity throughout the state in the level of liability being imposed, and to ensure that liability is imposed only on persons with the ability to pay. In evaluating a family’s financial ability to pay under this section, the county shall take into consideration the family’s income, the necessary obligations of the family, and the number of persons dependent upon this income. Except as provided in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4), “costs of support” as used in this section means only actual costs incurred by the county for food and food preparation, clothing, personal supplies, and medical expenses, not to exceed a combined maximum cost of thirty dollars ($30) per day, except that:

(1) The maximum cost of thirty dollars ($30) per day shall be adjusted every third year beginning January 1, 2012, to reflect the percentage change in the calendar year annual average of the California Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers, published by the Department of Industrial Relations, for the three-year period.

(2) No cost for medical expenses shall be imposed by the county until the county has first exhausted any eligibility the minor may have under private insurance coverage, standard or medically indigent Medi-Cal coverage, and the Robert W. Crown California Children’s Services Act (Article 5 (commencing with Section 123800) of Chapter 3 of Part 2 of Division 106 of the Health and Safety Code).

(3) In calculating the cost of medical expenses, the county shall not charge in excess of 100 percent of the AFDC fee-for-service average Medi-Cal payment for that county for that fiscal year as calculated by the State Department of Health Services; however, if a minor has extraordinary medical or dental costs that are not met under any of the coverages listed in paragraph (2), the county may impose these additional costs.

(4) For those placements of a minor subject to this section in which an AFDC-FC grant is made, the local child support agency shall, subject to Sections 17550 and 17552 of the Family Code, seek an order pursuant to Section 17400 of the Family Code and the statewide child support guideline in effect in Article 2 (commencing with Section 4050) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 9 of the Family Code. For purposes of determining the correct amount of support of a minor subject to this section, the rebuttable presumption set forth in Section 4057 of the Family Code is applicable. This paragraph shall be implemented consistent with subdivision (a) of Section 17415 of the Family Code.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the father, mother, spouse, or other person liable for the support of the minor, the estate of that person, or the estate of the minor, shall not be liable for the costs described in this section if a petition to declare the minor a dependent child of the court pursuant to Section 300 is dismissed at or before the jurisdictional hearing.

(e) (1) This section does not apply to a minor who is adjudged a ward of the juvenile court, who is placed on probation pursuant to Section 725, who is the subject of a petition that has been filed to adjudge the minor a ward of the juvenile court, or who is the subject of a program of supervision undertaken pursuant to Section 654.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), this section applies to a minor who is designated as a dual status child pursuant to Section 241.1, for purposes of the dependency jurisdiction only and not for purposes of the delinquency jurisdiction.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 678, Sec. 19. (SB 190) Effective January 1, 2018.)