The Court of Appeal found the Agency failed to satisfy its inquiry and notice obligations under the ICWA and related California law. The Agency was informed that the maternal grandmother had Native American ancestry, but made no effort to investigate family members. Notice to the tribes was also incomplete. The “affirmative duty to gather relevant information…is critical to ensure that the notice requirements are satisfied in a meaningful way.” Pursuant to “established appellate practice,” the order terminating parental rights was conditionally reversed and remanded to  ensure compliance with the ICWA.

The Court of Appeal conditionally reversed the order terminating parental rights and remanded the matter to the juvenile court with the directions to order the Agency to comply with the inquiry and notice provisions of ICWA and the current versions of sections 224.2 and 224.3 with specific direction that the Agency was to make proper and adequate inquiry of mother and known maternal and paternal relatives concerning potential Indian ancestry and to send new ICWA notices to all appropriate tribes.

In this appeal from jurisdiction/disposition, the Court of Appeal that the juvenile court and Agency failed to comply with the inquiry and notice requirements of the ICWA. The matter was remanded for ICWA compliance.

[Published Decision – 9 Cal.App.5th 339] Father appealed from the juvenile court’s findings at the six-month review hearing. The Court of Appeal agreed stating father’s out-of-state location and lack of participation did not excuse the Department’s failure to provide reasonable services. In addition, the Department failed to make the required active efforts under the ICWA to prevent the breakup of the Indian family.

Father raised ICWA errors in an appeal from the termination of parental rights. The Court found the failure of the Department to follow up with the paternal grandmother and/or other relatives to ensure that all necessary information was included in the ICWA notices was not harmless error. The order terminating parental rights was conditionally reversed and the case remanded to the juvenile court.

Mother and father appealed from the termination of parental rights. The Court of Appeal conditionally reversed and remanded for ICWA error. The Court found that notice should have been provided to all Pomo-affiliated tribes and that the ICWA notice had omitted information regarding the maternal grandparents and the maternal great-grandmother.

In an appeal from an order terminating his parental rights, father argued that the Department and juvenile court failed to sufficiently investigate and provide adequate notice as required under the ICWA. As a preliminary matter, the Court stated that father had not waived his right to appeal the order terminating parental rights by submitting to the recommendation as ICWA notice requirements could not be waived by the parent. The Court then found that the Department had not adequately discharged its duty of inquiry which hindered its ability to provide adequate notice to the tribes. The error was not harmless because it was unknown what a proper inquiry might have revealed.

In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, father claimed that the Department failed to comply with ICWA notice requirements. The Court of Appeal agreed that the Department neglected to contact all the appropriate tribes. Furthermore, it was the duty of the social worker to seek out additional information, not the obligation of family members to volunteer it.

In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, mother argued that an adequate inquiry under the ICWA was not made. The Court of Appeal agreed, finding that the juvenile court did not satisfy its initial duty of inquiry for father. Mother also filed a CCP section 909 motion requesting that the Court take evidence on appeal regarding her Indian heritage. The Court of Appeal did not grant the section 909 motion but stated that the offer of proof was sufficient for a limited remand to obtain further information from mother and father and to give notice to the pertinent tribes if necessary.

In this appeal from the termination of parental rights, father raised the beneficial relationship exception and ICWA violations. The Court of Appeal found that the adequacy of the ICWA investigation  was uncertain and the record failed to show the juvenile court ruled on the ICWA issue. The matter was remanded to the juvenile court for ICWA compliance.

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