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Name: In re J.N.
Case #: F048751
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/07/2006
Summary

The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied mother telephone visitation with the minor, where mother was incarcerated for willful acts of cruelty to a child and voluntary manslaughter and had not seen the minor in nine years. The minor was not bonded with his mother and did not have a strong relationship. Although she had phone contact with him weekly for the two years he lived with the maternal grandparents, the logistics of telephone visitation would likely have added to the minor’s emotional problems. However, the juvenile court did err by failing to fulfill their duty of inquiry for ICWA purposes. The record shows that mother was never asked about her Indian ancestry, and the court refused to speculate about what mother’s response to any inquiry would have been. Remand was required for a proper inquiry to be made.