In re Albert A.Annotate this Case
Mother Kimberly L. appealed a trial court's orders terminating her parental rights to Albert A. (A.A.) and Veronica A. (V.A.). Mother argued: (1) the juvenile court’s jurisdictional orders finding the children were dependents within the meaning of Welfare and Institutions Code section 300, subdivision (b)(1), were not supported by substantial evidence; (2) the juvenile court abused its discretion by terminating reunification services and setting a section 366.26 permanency planning hearing; (3) the juvenile court abused its discretion by denying mother’s request to continue the permanency hearing to allow her time to file a petition under section 388 requesting additional reunification services; (4) the juvenile court’s orders finding the children were likely to be adopted were not supported by substantial evidence; and (5) the juvenile court erred by concluding legally sufficient notice was provided to relevant Indian tribes pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Act. In the published portion of this opinion, the Court of Appeal concluded mother waived her claim of error regarding the jurisdictional orders by not appealing the dispositions. Mother was absent from the continued jurisdictional hearing and was not entitled to notice of her right to appeal under California Rules of Court, rule 5.590(a). Because the Court concluded the juvenile court did not provide mother with timely and adequate notice of her right to challenge the orders setting a permanency hearing, as mandated by rule 5.590(b), mother did not waive her claim of error respecting the termination of reunification services. In the unpublished portion of this opinion, the Court of Appeal concluded the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by terminating reunification services or by denying a request to continue the permanency hearing because mother did not comply with her case plan and did not visit with the children. However, the Court agreed with mother that the juvenile court erred by not considering legal impediments to the children being adopted by their paternal grandmother when it found the children were likely to be adopted, and we agree with mother and CFS that the ICWA notice was inadequate. Therefore, the orders terminating parental rights was reversed and the case remanded for the juvenile court to consider legal impediments to the children being adopted, for CFS to provide new ICWA notice, and for the juvenile court to determine whether that notice was sufficient.