A county with at least one awful case has a much better inquiry decision here. Turns out this is not enough, judges:
[Judge]: The question was posted as to whether or not the
requirements of ICWA had been met and hopefully, someone
has that answer for us.
[FCCS Attorney]: We did locate a log in which intake has asked
[appellant] if she participated with any Cherokee tribal
affiliation or membership. The answer was in the negative. And
then on June 15, 2018, subsequent to the complaint being filed
where [appellant] alleged some kind of Cher — Cherokee – * * *
heritage, [appellant] was put under oath on the record as noted
under [the juvenile court magistrate’s] order and she did state
that she did — was not eligible for membership and therefore,
no ICWA notifications would be required under the law. And at
that point the prosecutor had proceeded on the
adjudication/disposition as those notifications weren’t
required. But we did locate that; that is all in the record.
[Appellant] was put under oath again on June 15, 2018 and all
of that testimony is on the Court’s record. Thank you.
[Judge]: Thank you. Not being familiar with the whole ICWA
process, I trust that satisfies everyone’s concerns in regard to
[Appellant’s counsel]: Yes, Your Honor.
[Judge]: Very good then.
Pretty rare to be ok with admitting you just don’t know how to apply/aren’t familiar with a 40 year old law.
As such proper inquiry was not made here, we expressly make no
determination as to whether the juvenile court knows or has reason to know pursuant to 25
C.F.R. 23.107(c). We also expressly make no determination as to whether the children are
Indian children as defined in 25 U.S.C. 1903. Nevertheless, given the potential for
invalidation of a custody determination, we sustain the third assignment of error