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Name: In re Alexis H.
Case #: B177126
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 08/22/2005

In a dependency action, father claimed Native American heritage, and the Department sent notices to several tribes. However, the notices contained incomplete names and birthplaces for the children. A dependency petition was sustained, and the minors were placed with their mother on a family maintenance program. The court ordered reunification services for father, who was incarcerated. On appeal, appellant contended that jurisdictional order had to be reversed for failure to comply with the notice provisions of the ICWA. The appellate court affirmed, finding the failure to comply fully with ICWA harmless error. ICWA requires notice only when the Department seeks foster care or termination of parental rights. Because the Department sought only to order reunification services, no notice was required. Even if it was required, the defects in the notice were harmless because the Department was not pursuing foster care or termination.