In re: O.C.

The children, ages two and four, were detained after their parents‘ residence was raided by the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force. Both parents allegedly had substance abuse problems. Father was in Mendocino County jail. Months later, the court ordered the children to be returned to Mother under a family maintenance plan. Weeks later, Mother was arrested in another raid; drug paraphernalia and honey oil were found within the children‘s reach. The children were detained. Father‘s reunification services were later terminated for lack of compliance. Mother’s services were terminated for lack of compliance and inability to have the children returned to her by the 12-month review. Over mother‘s objection, visitation was later terminated, due to distance. The court eventually terminated parental rights. The parents appealed, arguing failure to comply with the notice requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. 1901. The minors‘ possible Wailaki Native American ancestry was first noted in the initial petition. Father‘s attorney informed the court that Father had provided to the social worker a completed ICWA-020 form indicating he had both Wailaki and Pomo heritage. The court of appeal reversed the termination of parental rights. Not all of the Pomo Indian Bands were noticed. View "In re: O.C." on Justia Law