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Name: In re Alice M.
Case #: H031794
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/09/2008

Reversal is required where the department fails to serve adequate ICWA notice. Following reversal for a failure to provide adequately inquire concerning mother’s Indian ancestry, mother’s parental rights were again terminated. In her appeal, mother challenged the ICWA notice again. Mother completed a JV-130 form wherein she stated that the minor belonged to the Navajo-Apache tribe. Eleven tribes were served, and eight responded. The notices sent to the three unresponsive tribes were not sent to the tribal chairperson or designated agent. Notice to one tribe was also sent to the wrong address. There was no verification that the notices actually reached the tribes. The order was again reversed. The issue was not forfeited for failure to raise it in the juvenile court. Since there was no proof that the three unresponsive tribes ever received the notices, there was no basis to support the court’s implicit finding of compliance. Notice to the BIA was not an adequate substitute for notice to all federally recognized Apache tribes.