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Name: In re Jose C.
Case #: F052049
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/26/2007

The juvenile court did not err when it found that the minors, who were not enrolled members of the tribe, were not Indian children. The minors’ maternal great grandfather was a member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, and although mother and the minors were eligible for enrollment, they had not enrolled as members. Mother appealed from the court order terminating her parental rights, arguing that the court erred by finding that the ICWA did not apply, in not requiring the minors to be enrolled in the tribe, and not requiring continuing ICWA notice to the tribe throughout the proceedings. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that although the minors may have been eligible to enroll, they were not tribal members, and therefore were not Indian children. The juvenile court then properly found that ICWA did not apply. There is no authority for the proposition that a court must enroll eligible minors in a tribe. The Caddo Nation had proper notice of the eligibility of these minors to enroll, and chose not to enroll them. The ICWA does not require anything further of the court. Further, the Caddo Nation was allowed to intervene in the appellate proceedings, and chose not to file a brief. Since the court properly held that ICWA did not apply, it was not error for the court to have failed to serve continuing ICWA notices to the Caddo Nation throughout the proceedings.