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Name: In re S.B.
Case #: B210101
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/03/2009
Summary

Reversal was not required where s social worker certified that she sent ICWA notices. After a second remand based on inadequate ICWA notice, the trial court asked parents’ counsel to review the notices and voice any objections. Counsel did not object. However, on appeal, appellate counsel argued that the ICWA notices were insufficient because the record did not reflect that the Department of Children and Family Services properly notified three of the tribes it had identified or that those tribes received actual notice. The department did fail to include return receipts as to the notices, but that is not required under ICWA. Any failure to comply with the California filing requirement is harmless in this case, since the social worker certified that she sent the notice and nine tribes responded that they received notice. It is presumed under Evidence Code section 664 that an official duty has been regularly performed. In the absence of any contradictory evidence, the appellate court concluded that ICWA notice was given to all appropriate tribes. The appellate court also noted that no objection was made below, and concluded that counsel for the parents bear a responsibility to raise a prompt objection to any notice deficiency so it can be corrected in a timely fashion.