The Court of Appeal agreed with father that the juvenile court’s order granting mother joint legal custody was in error. The court found the order was not based on evidence but on off-the-record discussions and unsworn statements of mother’s counsel regarding mother’s sobriety. The court reversed the joint legal custody order and remanded the matter for a new WIC 364 hearing.

[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.

The Court of Appeal reversed the finding of the juvenile court at the six-month review hearing that reasonable services had been provided to mother noting that mother was not responsible for the delay in receiving services. The Court also rejected the claim of the County that the reasonable services finding was not appealable. The Court found that mother was aggrieved and the reasonable services finding was appealable even if an additional six months of services had already been  ordered for mother.

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