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In Re D. W., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. C. W

February 23, 2011

IN RE D. W., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. NEVADA COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
C. W., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. J8612)

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

In re D.W.

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

C. W., the father of two-year-old D. W., appeals from an order of the Nevada County Juvenile Court terminating his parental rights and ordering a permanent plan of adoption.

On appeal, father contends the juvenile court erred in finding that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) did not apply because the notice sent to the tribes was deficient and not meaningful. We affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In April 2009, the Nevada County Human Services Agency (department) detained father's infant child, D. W., who was four months old. In May 2009, a petition was filed alleging that D. W. came within the provisions of Welfare and Institutions Code*fn1 section 300, subdivision (b). The petition alleged that the parents are not able to provide the necessary care for the child without supervision and support and they frequently argue in the child's presence.*fn2 The petition further stated that the child is, or may be, a member of, or eligible for membership in, the Cherokee Nation.

At the initial hearing in May 2009, the juvenile court provided the parents with Judicial Council form No. JV-130 pertaining to Indian heritage and ordered the child detained.

Thereafter, the parents entered denials to the petition's allegations and a jurisdiction hearing was scheduled.

At the jurisdiction hearing, each parent executed a waiver of rights, which the juvenile court found was freely and voluntarily given. Both parents submitted to the petition as amended. Father also provided the court with an ICWA form stating that he may be half Cherokee. The court found the allegations in the amended petition to be true, sustained the amended petition, and assumed jurisdiction.

The social worker's report for the disposition hearing stated that "[t]he Department is in the process of obtaining information from extended family members to notice the tribes. The Department provided notice of [the disposition] hearing to the Bureau of Indian Affairs." At the disposition hearing, the parties submitted to the recommendations in the social worker's report. The court adopted the recommendations.

At the six month review, the social worker's status review report stated that ICWA did not apply. Specifically, in September 2009, the department sent notices to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (bureau) and several Indian tribes. The department received return receipts from all the noticed tribes, and no tribe chose to intervene. The report showed that two tribes, the Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, had stated that the child was not eligible for membership. ...


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