In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, the Department concedes that it failed to comply with its duty of inquiry under the ICWA. The Court agrees and conditionally affirms the order terminating parental rights. The matter is remanded to the juvenile court for the limited purpose of ensuring ICWA compliance.
In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, the Court of Appeal finds that the ICWA inquiry was inadequate since no attempt was made by the Department to ask available relatives about the child’s possible Indian ancestry. The court adopts the standard set forth in In re Benjamin M. and finds the error prejudicial. In addition, the court holds that the duty to inquire of extended family members applies to WIC 340 and 306 removals.
The Court agrees with mother that the Department failed to conduct an adequate inquiry under the ICWA. Many maternal relatives were actively involved during the proceeedings but the Department failed to inquire about any possible Indian heritage. The order terminating parental rights was conditionally reversed and remanded with directions to comply with the ICWA.
[Published Opinion] In the first appeal, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred by failing to stay punishment for two convictions pursuant to PC 654. On remand, the trial court imposed a longer aggregate sentence by changing which counts were to run consecutive or concurrent. The Court of Appeal held that imposition of a longer sentence on remand violated double jeopardy principles and that the Serrato exception did not apply, as the original sentence was not an unauthorized, too lenient sentence.
[Published Opinion] Defendant was convicted at trial of multiple sex offenses, including three counts for which the trial court imposed three consecutive terms of 25 years to life pursuant to the One Strike law (PC 667.61(m)). Agreeing with People v. Jimenez (2019) 35 Cal.App.5th 373, the Court of Appeal held that the information did not provide defendant with fair notice that his exposure on these counts was 25 years to life rather than 15 years to life and reduced the sentences accordingly.
[Published Opinion] The Court of Appeal held that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering appellant to pay noneconomic victim restitution pursuant to PC 1202.4(f)(3)(F), where there was no evidence of the impact of appellant’s crimes on the victim, so the trial court instead relied exclusively on its experience and “common sense” regarding similar incidents. The court reasoned that an award for noneconomic damages must be supported by “some evidence of the harm incurred by the particular victim.”
In an appeal from disposition, the Court of Appeal finds there was insufficient evidence to support the court’s findings that the Department exercised due diligence to identify, locate, and contact minors’ relatives. The Court rejects the Department’s three arguments that mother had forfeited the challenge, that the findings were supported by substantial evidence, and that any error in making the findings was harmless.
The Court found that the ICWA inquiry requirements apply in a Fam Code 7822 appeal from the termination of parental rights. The juvenile court’s failure to make ICWA findings was error and, given the limited nature of the inquiry, the error was not harmless. The order terminating parental rights was conditionally reversed and remanded for ICWA compliance.
The Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred by imposing a “flash incarceration” condition of probation with eliciting the waiver required under PC 1203.35.
The Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred by imposing multiple punishments for the same single act of possessing the same firearm on the same occasion in violation of PC 654. The Court remanded the matter for a full resentencing, at which time the trial court may also consider whether to exercise its discretion under PC 1385(c) and 12022(c).