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Name: In re Jasmine G.
Case #: G033900
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/28/2005
Summary

The appellate court reversed the termination of mother’s parental rights where she did not receive notice of the 366.26 hearing. The Department made no attempt to look for mother, and submitted an old due-diligence declaration to show compliance, which contained a phone number and an address of a friend who had previously delivered notices to mother. Further, the Department claimed it had contact with mother eight times, yet no one had advised her of the date of the hearing or obtained updated information. Even mother’s counsel’s stipulation to diligence did not waive the error, as counsel was entitled to rely on the Department’s representations that it did not know mother’s whereabouts. The error was reversible per se. However, it was not error to have failed to wait until the tribes responded to the ICWA notices sent. The fact that the tribes did not respond was sufficient to support the finding that ICWA did not apply.