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In re K.P.

June 22, 2009

IN RE K.P. ET AL., PERSONS COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW.
PLACER COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
V.M. ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Placer County, John Ross, Commissioner. Affirmed. (Super. Ct. Nos. 53000837, 53000838, 53001831).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sims, Acting P. J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Appellant V.M. (mother), the mother of J.P. (born June 1997), K.P. (born October 1998), and J.M. (born December 2003), appeals from an order of the juvenile court terminating her parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 366.26, 395; undesignated statutory references are to the Welfare and Institutions Code.)

Appellant J.M. (father), the father of minor J.M.,*fn1 appeals from an order entered by the juvenile court pursuant to section 366.26, which did not terminate his parental rights but which did set adoption as the permanent placement goal.

The court found there is a probability that J.P. will be adopted, he is difficult to place, and termination of parental rights would not be detrimental to him. (§§ 366.26, 395.)

On appeal, mother and father (collectively, appellants) contend that the juvenile court did not comply with the notice provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act. (25 U.S.C., § 1901 et seq. (ICWA).) We shall affirm.

BACKGROUND

In November 2002, following several instances of domestic violence between the mother and her live-in girlfriend, the minors J.P. and K.P. were detained and the Placer County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) filed a dependency petition alleging jurisdiction under section 300, subdivisions (b) (failure to protect) and (c) (serious emotional damage). The mother told HHS that she was a member of the Colfax/Todd's Valley Consolidated Tribe. HHS determined the tribe was not federally recognized and did not notify it of the proceedings.

The juvenile court sustained the petition in January 2003, placing J.P. and K.P. with the mother. The dependency action was dismissed in July 2003 after the mother completed her reunification plan.

In May 2005, another dependency petition was filed alleging jurisdiction of J.P., K.P. and J.M. (collectively, the minors) under section 300, subdivisions (b), (c), and (g) (no material support), following domestic violence between the mother and the father leading to the mother's arrest. The petition also alleged appellants had a history of domestic violence and substance abuse.

Reports indicated the mother was possibly bipolar and detailed her lengthy child welfare history. Two mental health experts examined the father and found he had borderline personality disorder, antisocial tendencies, signs of paranoid schizophrenia and depression, and an IQ of 73. The experts concluded the father was not likely to benefit from reunification services.

The juvenile court amended the petition to omit the subdivision (g) allegation and sustained the petition. Reunification services were denied to the father and offered to the mother. The minors were returned to the mother in January 2006 and the dependency action was dismissed in August 2006.

A third dependency petition was filed in September 2007, alleging jurisdiction of the minors under section 300, subdivisions (b) and (c), after incidents of domestic violence between the mother and maternal grandmother and a fight between the mother and father.

At the September 2007 detention hearing, the juvenile court found the minors were not Indian children within the meaning of ICWA. Pursuant to section 306.6,*fn2 the juvenile court allowed the Colfax/Todd's Valley Consolidated Tribe to participate in the proceedings. The tribal ...


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