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 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.
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.
Despite a prior remand order, the Department failed to engage in an adequate investigation to obtain complete and accurate information regarding minor’s relatives for purposes of the ICWA. On appeal, the Department offered no argument substantively countering father’s claim of inadequate inquiry and prejudice. The Court conditionally reverses the order terminating parental rights and remands the matter for compliance with the inquiry and notice provisions of the ICWA.
In an appeal from the termination of parental rights, the Court finds that the Department and juvenile court did not satisfy their duty to inquire into mother’s possible Native American ancestry. The Court finds the error required reversal because the record contained no indication the Department made any further inquires after mother affirmatively told the social worker she believed she had Native American ancestry.
The Court of Appeal finds the juvenile court failed at multiple junctures and in multiple ways to afford proper notice to father of the dependency proceedings and his rights as an alleged father as required by law. The court violated father’s statutory and due process rights which cumulatively resulted in a process that was fundamentally unfair. The order terminating parental rights was reversed and remanded to the juvenile court.
The Court of Appeal reversed the juvenile court’s order at the WIC 366.26 hearing terminating mother’s parental rights and remanded the matter for a new hearing. The Court found the juvenile court relied on certain factors that In re Caden C. made clear are not relevant to the application of the beneficial relationship exception.
The Court of Appeal reversed the order terminating mother’s parental rights and remanded the matter for a new WIC 366.26 hearing. The Court found the juvenile court misapplied the three-step beneficial relationship exception as articulated in In re Caden C. when it placed heavy weight on mother’s inability to overcome her drug problem.
The Court of Appeal reversed the juvenile court’s order terminating mother’s parental rights finding that the juvenile court erred when it relied on improper factors in its assessment of the second and third elements of the beneficial relationship exception.
The Court of Appeal reversed the order terminating parental rights and remanded the matter for a new WIC section 366.26 hearing in light of the legal standards articulated in In re Caden C. The Court did not reach the issue of whether or not the juvenile court abused its discretion in failing to grant mother’s request for continuance to clarify the caretaker aunt’s preference as to the permanent plan, but did indicate that the aunt’s preference and the applicability of the relative guardian exception to the termination of parental rights should be considered on remand.