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Name: In re E.R.
Case #: A139939
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 02/08/2016

Where mother revoked Indian Custodian designation, previous custodian had no right to ICWA notices and advisements. A few days prior to the Department’s taking the minor children into protective custody, mother executed a Designation of Indian Custodian under the ICWA, naming Rafael J. as the minor’s custodian. The juvenile court sustained a petition and gave the Department the responsibility for the children’s placement. While mother was in a rehab center, she informed her social worker that she had withdrawn her request to have the minors placed with Rafael. The Department also recommended also against placement with Rafael. Mother then changed her mind and wanted the children back with Rafael. The minors were placed in foster care, and Rafael appealed. On appeal, Rafael claimed that he was not given the mandatory ICWA notices and related advisements required for an Indian custodian. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed the orders. Although the juvenile court failed to promptly investigate and confirm Rafael’s status as the Indian Custodian, any errors were harmless given the facts of the case. Mother revoked Rafael’s Indian Custodian status after the commencement of the proceedings. Therefore, she no longer had the authority to assign a custodian for the children at the time she attempted to reinstate Rafael’s custodianship because the juvenile court had previously assigned the Department this authority. Since Rafael was the children’s custodian only up until the point of mother’s revocation, he had no rights to ICWA notices and related advisements.