[Published Decision] The Court of Appeal reversed the order terminating jurisdiction over appellant, a nonminor dependent. The Court found that the juvenile court failed to give any consideration to whether termination of dependency was in his best interests.
Victory Categories: Dependency
[Published Opinion] The jurisdictional findings and orders as to father, as well as the related dispositional orders regarding removal and substance abuse testing and treatment are reversed. The matter was remanded to the juvenile court with directions to dismiss the petition as to father. The Court found that even though mother did not appeal, father’s challenges to the jurisdictional allegations were not moot as they formed the basis for the dispositional orders.
The juvenile court’s order terminating parental rights is conditionally reversed for ICWA compliance because the Agency failed to conduct an adequate inquiry under ICWA. This was prejudicial error because the record indicated there was readily obtainable information likely to bear meaningfully upon whether the child was an Indian child.
In an appeal from a WIC 366.26 hearing, the Court agreed that the ICWA inquiry was inadequate. The Department failed to satisfy its duty of inquiry under WIC 224.2(b) when it did not make any effort to contact the maternal grandfather. The Court found the error was not harmless under the various standards, except for the presumptive affirmance standard which it declined to follow. The order terminating parental rights was conditionally reversed.
In an appeal from disposition, the Court agreed that the ICWA notice was insufficient because paternal great-grandfather’s name was not included and the Agency did not comply with its duty of inquiry. The error was not harmless because the information missing from the notice was the identity of the person of potential Indian heritage. The order was conditionally affirmed and remanded for compliance with the ICWA and relevant California law.
In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, the Court agreed that the Department failed to satisfy its duties of initial inquiry and further inquiry under section 224.2 (b) and (e) and the juvenile court failed to ensure compliance with the ICWA.
There was no dispute amongst the parties that the Department erroneously failed to conduct an adequate inquiry of father or any other paternal relatives regarding possible Native American ancestry. The Court analyzed the various standards of prejudice applied in ICWA cases and determined the error was not harmless. The order terminating parental rights was conditionally reversed for the Department to fulfill its duty of inquiry.
In an appeal from the termination of reunification services, the Court finds mother’s limited progress was the result of the Agency’s delay in providing necessary individual and family therapy services, rather than mother’s lack of effort or cooperation. The order terminating service was remanded with directions, in the absence of contradictory evidence, to provide mother with an additional period of reunification services consistent with the opinion.
In an appeal from jurisdiction/disposition, the Court found the juvenile court failed to ensure the Agency fulfilled its duty of inquiry under the ICWA and there was not substantial evidence supporting the court’s finding the ICWA did not apply. The matter was conditionally reversed for compliance with the ICWA.
[Published Opinion] In an appeal from jurisdiction and disposition, the Court of Appeal found the juvenile court violated mother’s due process rights when it established jurisdiction based on the conduct of a parent the Department never alleged was an offending parent and on a factual and legal theory not raised in the Department’s petition.