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Name: In re A.B.
Case #: D052401
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/08/2008
Summary

Failure to inquire about the mother’s Indian heritage did not prejudice the father where the department augments the record with documentation that the mother claimed no Indian heritage. On appeal from the termination of his parental rights, the father contended that the juvenile court erred by not inquiring as to the Indian heritage of the mother. The department moved to augment the record to include a document the mother filed in a dependency case in a different county, in which she denied having any Indian heritage. The appellate court granted the motion to augment, finding that the document was an official court record subject to judicial notice. Exceptional circumstances existed here which warranted augmentation of the record. Based on the augmented record, the failure to inquire about the mother’s heritage constituted harmless error. A limited reversal for ICWA compliance here would serve no purpose other than delay.