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In re P.R.

California Court of Appeals, Third District, Shasta

May 12, 2015

In re P.R., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. SHASTA COUNTY HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Ashley M., Defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from the orders of the Superior Court of Shasta County, No. 13JVSQ2966501 Molly A. Bigelow, Judge.

Page 937

COUNSEL

Michelle L. Jarvis, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Rubin E. Cruse, Jr., County Counsel, and David M. Yorton, Jr., Deputy County Counsel, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

DUARTE, J.

Ashley M., mother of the minor (mother), appeals from orders of the juvenile court terminating her parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 366.26, 395.)[1] Mother’s sole contention is that substantial evidence does not support the juvenile court’s finding that there was good cause to

Page 938

deviate from the adoption placement preferences of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA). (25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.) As we will explain, because mother lacks standing to challenge the placement order, we will dismiss the appeal.

FACTS

The two-year-old minor, P.R., was detained in March 2013 due to mother’s neglect as a result of serious substance abuse and father’s absence. At the detention hearing both parents claimed Indian heritage. Mother’s Judicial Council form ICWA-020 claimed Indian ancestry in the Creek, Cherokee and Sioux tribes. Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency (the Agency) sent notice of the proceedings to all relevant tribes.

The disposition report recommended services for the parents and indicated the minor might be eligible for membership in the Muscogee Creek Nation (the tribe). Pending the jurisdiction/disposition hearing, the minor was placed in a concurrent foster home. The maternal great-grandmother was approved for placement but did not feel she was able to care for the minor. Cooper G., a paternal uncle living in Alaska, contacted the social worker seeking placement. The social worker planned to conduct a telephonic interview and submit the required Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) documents to initiate a relative home study. At the jurisdiction/disposition hearing held in June 2013, the court sustained the petition, ordered services for the parents and suspended mother’s visitation with the minor, finding visitation would be detrimental.

The six month status review report filed in December 2013 recommended termination of reunification services because neither parent had made any progress in his or her case plan. The paternal uncle’s ICPC was being processed and results were expected in January 2014.[2] The social worker had spoken with the tribe’s representative in July 2013 and learned the tribe would enroll the minor but would not intervene in the case. The report stated the minor’s current placement was not within the ICWA placement preferences, because no ICWA compliant home was available when the minor was placed. Both the ...


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