In consolidated appeal from jurisdiction/disposition and a six-month review hearing, mother argued the juvenile court and Department failed to comply with their ICWA inquiry obligations. The Court agreed and vacated the juvenile court’s finding that ICWA does not apply. The Court noted that to affirm the orders unequivocally would leave intact an implicit judicial finding of ICWA compliance that was not supported by substantial evidence.
In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, the Department conceded that it failed to comply with the inquiry requirements of the ICWA. The record lacked proper documentation of the social worker’s efforts to contact additional paternal relatives to ensure a thorough ICWA inquiry. The matter was conditionally reversed for ICWA compliance.
In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, the court conditionally reversed the order terminating parental rights due to the Department’s failure to document any effort to ask identified and available extended family members about the children’s possible Native American ancestry. Based on father’s claim of Indian ancestry, it was clear from the beginning of the case that WIC 224.2 applied. The Department conceded the error and the matter was remanded for ICWA compliance.
In an appeal from the termination of reunification services, the Court conditionally affirms the orders pertaining to two of the children and remands the matter for compliance with the ICWA inquiry and notice requirements. The Court finds that the Agency failed to fulfill its duty of inquiry. In addition, the record did not contain adequate information to determine whether notice provided to the tribes was adequate.
In a WIC 366.26 appeal, mother argued the Department did not fully comply with the inquiry and notice requirements of the ICWA. The Department conceded the error. The Department’s reports did not indicate whether the minor’s extended family members and “others who have an interest in the child” had been interviewed as required under WIC 224.2(b) and Rule 5.481(a)(5). Consequently, the ICWA notices did not contain statutorily required information. The matter was conditionally reversed and remanded.
In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, the Court agreed that the Agency and juvenile court failed to fulfill their duties to adequately inquire about the minor’s possible Indian heritage. The Court declined to follow the presumptive affirmance rule but found reversal was required under each of the other harmless error rules. The matter was conditionally reversed and remanded for compliance with the ICWA.
In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, the Court of Appeal finds the Department failed to comply with ICWA’s initial inquiry requirements. The Court states the error was not harmless when multiple family members were contacted by the Department but never questioned regarding ICWA. The order terminating parental rights was conditionally affirmed and remanded for compliance with the ICWA.
In a juvenile writ proceeding, the court found that the Agency’s failure to comply with its duty of inquiry under WIC 224.2(b) was not harmless error under the In re Benjamin M. standard. The Agency was not relieved of its duty “simply, because in its view, there is little likelihood that the children have Indian ancestry based on the parents’ representations that they came from Honduras.” Since the court’s orders did not terminate parental rights, the appropriate remedy was a limited remand for ICWA compliance.
In this appeal from the termination of parental rights, the Court agreed that the Agency failed to comply with its duty of initial inquiry under ICWA once the minor’s biological father was identified. The Agency should have at least required father to fill out the ICWA-020 form and should have questioned father’s relatives for whom it had or could readily obtain contact information. The failure to do so was prejudicial.
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.