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In Re Michael A. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. Tammi G

August 27, 2012

IN RE MICHAEL A. ET AL., PERSONS COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
TAMMI G., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. Nos. JD220950, JD220951)

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

In re Michael A.

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Tammi G., the paternal grandmother and de facto parent of minors Michael A. and Austin A., appeals from an order removing the minors from her custody. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 387.)*fn1 Appellant contends: (1) the order must be reversed because of failures to comply with the inquiry and notice provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) (25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.); and (2) the order improperly delegated to respondent Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) complete discretion to decide whether appellant would receive visitation with the minors. We conclude that both contentions are procedurally barred: Appellant lacks standing to raise her first contention, and her second contention is forfeited for failure to object to the court's visitation order. Therefore, we shall affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Because appellant's contentions do not require us to discuss the case's history in depth, we give only an abbreviated summary of relevant facts and procedure.

The minors (Austin A., born in April 2001, and Michael A., born in September 2003) were detained in August 2004.

Appellant claimed that the paternal great-grandmother was an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Tribe and the paternal great-grandfather had Cherokee heritage; therefore, the Department sent the ICWA notice in September 2004 to three Cherokee and five Creek tribes. After the tribes had returned negative responses or had not responded, the juvenile court found at the jurisdictional/dispositional hearing in October 2004 that the ICWA did not apply.

The juvenile court ordered the minors placed in foster care with reunification services for the parents. In May 2005, however, the parents' services were terminated.

In June 2005, the juvenile court placed the minors in appellant's custody under dependent supervision. In September 2005, the court ordered a permanent plan of placement in appellant's care with a long-term goal of legal guardianship. In January 2007, the court granted appellant de facto parent status.

The Department consistently doubted that appellant could qualify as a prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian.*fn2 But since the minors were bonded to her and appeared to be making some progress, and their special needs made them hard to place elsewhere, they remained in her home until March 2011.

Based on repeated reports by the Department throughout 2010 that the minors were suffering from neglect in appellant's custody and she appeared unable to care for them properly, in January 2011 the juvenile court ordered a new permanent plan of "out of home placement with an ...


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