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Name: Nicole K. v. Superior Court
Case #: C053987
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/11/2007

This writ proceeding followed termination of mother’s services and the setting of a 366.26 hearing. Mother argued that the ICWA notices were inadequate because the notice sent to the United Keetoowah Band was sent to an incorrect address. The Department took the position that the error was harmless because the reason for termination of services was mother’s lack of compliance with reunification. The appellate court granted the writ petition. Where there has been a lack of ICWA notice, the juvenile court’s orders must be vacated because they are based on different standards than should have been applied if ICWA notice was provided and the child was an Indian child. Therefore, the court disagreed with In re Brooke C. (2005) 127 Cal.App. 4th 377 and issued the writ directing the juvenile court to vacate its orders terminating services and setting the 366.26 hearing, and issue proper notice to the Tribe. If, after providing notice to the Tribe the child is determined to be an Indian child, it must conduct new proceedings. It may reinstate the vacated orders if it is determined that the child is not an Indian child.