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In Re C.R. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. M.R

December 16, 2010

IN RE C.R. ET AL., PERSONS COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
M.R., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. Nos. JD230321, JD230320)

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

In re C.R. CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

(Sacramento)

M.R., the mother of four-year-old C.R. and six-year-old X.A., appeals from an order of the Sacramento County Juvenile Court adjudging the children to be persons described by Welfare and Institutions Code section 300,*fn1 removing them from mother's custody, and ordering paternity testing for P.A., the alleged father of X.A. Mother contends the court had reason to know that X.A. was an Indian child and thus erred by failing to send Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA; 25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.) notice of the proceedings to the Apache tribes. We shall affirm the order.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In November 2009 the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (Department) filed petitions alleging that mother frequently used excessive corporal punishment on the children and had, on more than one occasion, physically abused the children's older half siblings. (§ 300, subds. (a), (b) & (j).) The physical abuse included hitting the half siblings with belts, rulers, and shoes, resulting in bruising. The Department obtained a protective custody warrant and removed the children from mother.

Mother reported to the Department's social worker that P.A. is the father of X.A.

At the initial hearing in November 2009 mother's counsel told the juvenile court that P.A. was not present at X.A.'s birth, and his name is not on X.A.'s birth certificate; mother was not married to P.A. or anyone else when X.A. was born; P.A. has never signed a "notice" of paternity; P.A. has never lived with X.A. or provided him support; there is no child support order, nor has there ever been a paternity test; but, according to mother, P.A. holds out to family and friends that X.A. is his child.

The juvenile court concluded that P.A. was an alleged father, not a presumed father. It ordered the Department to make a diligent search for P.A. and provide him notice of the next hearing.

The jurisdiction/disposition report revealed that mother was interviewed in December 2009. She indicated that P.A. had had no contact with X.A. since he was one year old. Mother described P.A. as "very violent" and claimed that she did not know where he was located.

Two days after the interview, P.A. telephoned the social worker from Mule Creek State Prison, where he was incarcerated. He believed that his name was on X.A.'s birth certificate and stated that he had visited X.A. every weekend until the "mother and child disappeared" when X.A. was three years old. P.A. acknowledged paternity and requested counsel. He reported that he has Apache heritage.

The jurisdiction/disposition report indicates that ICWA notice to the Apache tribes was withheld pending the establishment ...


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