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In Re D.G. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. T.G

January 4, 2011


(Super. Ct. Nos. JD228998, JD229000, JD229001)

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

In re D.G.



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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Mother (T.G.) appeals from the juvenile court's orders terminating her parental rights and implementing a permanent plan of adoption as to minors D.G. (a male born in summer of 2008) and female twins L.G. and Y.G. (born in summer of 2007). (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 366.26.)*fn1 Father (D.G., Sr.) has not appealed.

Mother contends (1) the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA; 25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.) was not complied with, and (2) the juvenile court erred by finding the minors adoptable. We shall affirm.


On January 12 and 13, 2009, the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) filed section 300 petitions as to the minors, alleging: The parents had failed to feed D.G., aged five months, and he was hospitalized for severe failure to thrive. Mother tested positive for marijuana at the time of D.G.'s birth, had a substance abuse problem, and had gotten no prenatal care; father also had a history of marijuana use.

Initially, D.G. was placed in emergency detention and the older minors were returned to the parents under dependent supervision. However, on January 30, 2009, the Department applied for a protective custody warrant for the older minors, alleging that both parents had untreated substance abuse problems, father also had a severe mental health problem, and the parents had cooperated minimally with the Department.

On February 5, 2009, the Department filed amended section 300 petitions, adding allegations that the parents continued to drug test positive, father had bipolar disorder with hallucinations, and mother had bipolar disorder with depression.

The jurisdiction/disposition report, filed February 3, 2009, recommended out-of-home placement for the minors with reunification services for the parents. The older minors were subsequently detained.

An addendum report filed March 30, 2009, alleged: Father had been convicted of resisting a peace officer. Both parents were still testing positive for marijuana and failing to participate in services. The minors were doing well in foster care.

At the jurisdiction/disposition hearing on April 6, 2009, the juvenile court made the recommended orders.

On August 27, 2009, the Department recommended transferring the minors to a permanent plan of adoption at the six-month review hearing.

The six-month review report, filed September 4, 2009, recommended terminating the parents' services because the parents had separated and father had left town, mother had participated minimally in services, and aside from visiting the minors, the parents had not complied with their case plans.

At the six-month review hearing on September 17, 2009, the juvenile court terminated the parents' services and set a permanent plan of adoption for the minors.

The selection and implementation report, filed December 28, 2009, recommended terminating the parents' rights and proceeding to adoption. The minors were placed together, and the foster parents had been cleared for adoption. The minors were specifically adoptable because they were a sibling set and D.G. had developmental delays in speech and language.

On January 21, 2010, mother filed section 388 petitions seeking to reopen services or to obtain the minors' return under dependent supervision.

On January 26, 2010, the juvenile court held a combined section 388/section 366.26 hearing. After finding mother had shown no change in circumstances, the court denied her section 388 petitions, then ordered the termination of parental rights and adoption.

DISCUSSION I. Compliance with icwa

Mother contends ICWA was not complied with in two respects: there was insufficient proof that all tribes required to receive notice had done so, and the information given the tribes was so defective that they could not conduct meaningful searches. We conclude mother has failed to show prejudicial error.

Background The first notice

At the initial hearings on January 13 and 15, 2009, the parents filled out ICWA-020 forms. Mother claimed Choctaw ancestry; father claimed "Mohigun" ancestry.

On January 15, 2009, the juvenile court directed the Department to give notice to the Choctaw and Mohegan tribes and directed the parents to fill out ICWA questionnaires.

On January 23, 2009, before she was able to speak to the parents or any known relatives, Department paralegal Phyllis Olivares sent notice (based only on a family history given by mother as a juvenile dependent 10 years before) to the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Mohegan Indian Tribe, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and the Stockbridge-Munsee Community of Wisconsin,*fn3 as well as the Secretary of the Interior and the Sacramento-area Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

The second notice

On February 6, 2009, after the parents had spoken to Olivares, she sent out amended notices to ...

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