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Name: In re N.F. (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 170
Case #: B318674
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/10/2023
Subsequent History: Ordered published 9/5/2023
Summary

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is not implicated at a post-permanency hearing which will not result in foster-care placement, termination of parental rights, preadoptive placement, or adoptive placement. The minor was removed from Mother in 2018. In 2021, a paternal uncle was appointed as minor’s legal guardian and dependency jurisdiction was terminated with Kin-GAP funding in place. Mother did not appeal this order. In 2022, Mother brought a 388 petition asking that her reunification services be reinstated as she had recently been released from incarceration. The 388 petition was denied and the court ordered that the dependency case remain closed. Mother appealed, arguing that the guardianship order must be reversed because the juvenile court failed to comply with the initial inquiry requirements of the ICWA. The appellate court affirmed. Mother forfeited her challenge to the legal guardianship by not appealing in 2021. Further, the juvenile court and Agency no longer had an ICWA duty of inquiry at the post-permanency proceedings. Because the juvenile court did not vacate its order terminating dependency jurisdiction over the minor when it heard Mother’s section 388 petition, section 224.2 was not implicated because the hearing was not a dependency proceeding. Further, the ICWA did not apply to the post-permanency hearing because it would not culminate in foster care placement, termination of parental rights, preadoptive placement, or adoptive placement.