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Name: In re J.M.
Case #: B235963
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 05/23/2012
Summary

ICWA notice did not require names of great-great grandparents where identity of more immediate relatives with same surname had been included. Mother challenged the termination of her parental rights, contending that DCFS failed to comply with the ICWA in that notices sent did not include the names of the maternal great-great grandparents alleged by the grandmother to have Papago Indian heritage, and also that J.M. was not included in the notices. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The identities of the mother, maternal grandparents, and maternal grandparents, who all had the same surname were included. Nothing more was required. Omission about a child’s great-great grandparents is rarely prejudicial when the identity of more immediate lineal ancestors is included in the ICWA notice, given the strict tribal membership requirements. Also, failure to include J.M., one of the minors, in the notice was harmless because the siblings were included and all claimed Indian heritage through the same mother.