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Name: In re A.G.
Case #: A132447
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/16/2012

Agency’s failure to serve adequate ICWA notice required reversal of parental rights termination. Father appealed from the termination of his parental rights, arguing that the Agency failed to investigate his Native American heritage and provide adequate notice to the tribes. Although the Agency sent notice to the tribes, the notice provided no information concerning the paternal grandparents, great-grandparents, or other relatives. On appeal, the Agency did not dispute the faulty notice, but argued against reversal based on father’s conduct. The appellate court rejected the Agency’s arguments, finding that none of the arguments excused the failure to comply with ICWA. Even though reversal and remand for proper ICWA notice would further delay the minor’s permanent placement, the ICWA violations required limited reversal to insure ICWA compliance.