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In Re J.B., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. E.H

January 12, 2012

IN RE J.B., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
E.H., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. JD230036)

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

In re J.B.

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

E.H., father of the minor, appeals from orders terminating his parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 366.26, 395; further undesignated statutory references are to the Welfare and Institutions Code.) Appellant contends the juvenile court erred by failing to accede to the tribe's recommendation that he be afforded services in an attempt to preserve the Indian family. We affirm.

FACTS

The infant minor was detained shortly after birth in August 2009 due to the mother's substance abuse. At the detention hearing, the mother identified two possible alleged fathers, A.C. and appellant. A.C. was excluded by a paternity test. The Department of Health and Human Services (Department) conducted a due diligence search as to appellant. The mother and the maternal grandparents had no information on appellant's whereabouts and the search did not produce positive results.

The maternal grandfather is a registered member of the Cherokee Nation. Notice of the proceedings was sent to the tribe and the tribe intervened.

The juvenile court sustained the petition and ordered services for the mother. The mother minimally participated in services for the first six months and the social worker initially recommended termination of services. However, after a delay of several months pending a contested hearing, the social worker changed the recommendation to provide further services.

Four days before the combined six and 12-month review hearings in August 2010, appellant appeared in court for the first time. The court found he was an alleged father and set a paternity hearing. At the combined review hearings, the court terminated the mother's services, found there had been active efforts to prevent the breakup of the Indian family, and set a section 366.26 hearing. In September 2010, the court found appellant was the biological father.

The social worker's report for the section 366.26 hearing, filed in November 2010, stated the Cherokee Nation recommended that appellant be given 90 days of services to reunify and if he was unable to do so, then the tribe supported adoption of the minor by the current caretaker. Appellant had not visited the minor at all since appearing in the case. The report concluded the minor was likely to be adopted and would benefit from the stability of a permanent home.

In December 2010, appellant filed a motion to return to disposition, alleging lack of due diligence in attempting to locate him. He also filed a petition for modification seeking placement of the minor or reunification services.

An addendum report included a declaration by an Indian expert which reiterated the tribe's recommendation that services be provided to appellant. However, the declaration also stated active efforts had been made, that continued care by the parents of the minor was likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the ...


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