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Name: In re N.M.
Case #: C056832
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/27/2009

There was sufficient evidence of good cause to place the Indian minor with a non-relative over the maternal grandmother. Father appealed from the judgment of the juvenile court ordering guardianship of the minor with a non-relative instead of the minor’s paternal grandmother. He contended that there was insufficient evidence of good cause to deviate from the preference of the tribe, the ICWA expert, and the department. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed the judgment. Substantial evidence was presented to establish that the guardianship was appropriate, given the guardian’s efforts to maintain connection with the family, history of living together, and efforts to protect the minor. On the other hand, evidence supporting the grandmother was based primarily on her membership in the tribe.