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Name: In re Z.N.
Case #: A124843
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/29/2009

A court make take judicial notice of tribal notice in siblings’ cases. On appeal from a parental rights termination, mother contended that reversal was required because of failure to comply with the notice mandates of the ICWA. The department argued that mother forfeited the issue by not raising it below. The appellate court here rejected the department’s position, adhering to the cases which hold that failure to give notice is not an issue forfeited by a parent’s failure to object. The department also requested that the court take judicial notice of tribal notices from the half siblings’ cases for purpose of assessing whether there was substantial compliance here. The appellate court took judicial notice not to assess whether error occurred but to assess whether there was resulting prejudice to any affected tribe. The court found no argument that the notices were in any way deficient or that the tribes’ responses were uninformed. Remand was therefore not required.