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In Re Angel R., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. K.J

July 25, 2012

IN RE ANGEL R., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
K.J., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. J05349)

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

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

K.J. (mother) appeals from the juvenile court's orders terminating her parental rights and ordering a permanent plan of adoption as to the minor Angel R. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 366.26.)*fn1 Mother contends that proper notice under the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) (25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.) was not given. Respondent San Joaquin County Human Services Agency (the Agency) correctly concedes the issue. We shall remand for further proceedings under the ICWA.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In light of the sole contention on appeal, we give the underlying facts briefly.

The Agency filed a section 300 petition as to the infant minor in January 2010, alleging the minor (who had four half siblings already under the juvenile court's jurisdiction) was at risk due to mother's history of substance abuse and domestic violence and to the filthy state of the parental home.

In December 2009, the social worker completed an ICWA form which stated that the minor's maternal great-grandmother, N.C., was Cherokee, and the minor's unnamed paternal great-grandmother was Blackfeet. However, the subsequent jurisdiction report indicated that the ICWA did not apply because mother had denied Indian heritage at the detention hearing.*fn2

The juvenile court took jurisdiction over the minor in April 2010. In October 2010, at the dispositional hearing, the juvenile court placed the minor in foster care and granted reunification services to the parents.

After learning that mother had claimed Indian heritage in the half siblings' case, the Agency gave the ICWA notice to the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes in March 2011; the Blackfeet tribe did not receive notice. The notice gave no information about the minor's paternal ancestry aside from the father. As to the minor's maternal ancestry, it gave no information other than the names and current addresses of two persons, both said to be the maternal great-grandmother, and neither of whom had the same name as the person so identified in the December 2009 form. (One had the same first name, but a different last name.) The address of one of those persons was given only as "Luisiana" (sic).

In June 2011, the juvenile court terminated the parents' reunification services and found, based on the lack of responses from the Cherokee tribes to date, that the ICWA did not apply.

In August 2011, the Agency filed a declaration stating that it had received negative responses from all of the Cherokee tribes.*fn3

In November 2011, the juvenile court terminated parental rights and ordered a permanent plan ...


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