California Appeals Court Decides ICWA Notice Case; Admonishes Alameda County Social Services Agency

Here is the opinion in In re A.G. (Cal. App. Dist. 1):


An excerpt:

Father’s sole contention is that the order terminating his parental rights as to A.G. must be reversed because the Agency did not provide notice as required under ICWA. Although the Agency strenuously contested this appeal, it does not dispute that it failed to comply with ICWA’s inquiry and notice requirements. Instead, it raises a battery of contentions that arise out of a theory that Father has “renounced” his paternal rights and worked a fraud on the family and juvenile courts. The Agency also says the appeal is barred by res judicata and, in any event, that reversal is not required because its ICWA violations were not prejudicial. These arguments are long on novelty, but short on merit. We are reluctant to impose further delay before this young child may finally gain permanence and stability in an adoptive family. Unfortunately, the Agency’s unexplained failure to follow the law leaves us with no choice. We therefore order a limited reversal and require the Agency to fulfill its ICWA-related duties, as it should have done long ago.

Freedmen Claim Against United States Dismissed (Fed. Cl.)

The case is Harvest Institute Freedmen Federation v. United States. The court dismissed the claim under FRCP 12(b)(1) — failure to state a claim — but not on the government’s statute of limitations claim. Here are the materials:

1866 Freedmen Agreement

US Motion to Dismiss

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