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Name: People v. Heather W.
Case #: F085109
Opinion Date: 05/02/2023
Attorney: Carolyn S. Hurley

In an appeal from an order terminating parental rights pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26, the Court of Appeal agreed with the parties that the Fresno County Department of Social Services and the juvenile court failed to comply with the inquiry requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and related California law because extended family members were not asked about the child’s Indian ancestry and the juvenile court failed to conduct its own inquiry with the parents. The juvenile court’s finding that ICWA does not apply was conditionally reversed and the matter was remanded for compliance with the ICWA.