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People ex rel. K.G.

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Division A

November 30, 2017

The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, In the Interest of K.G. and A.R., Children, and Concerning G.G., Respondent-Appellant.

          Order Issued November 8, 2017

         County District Court No. 15JV270 Honorable Valerie J. Robison, Judge

          J. Patrick Coleman, County Attorney, Katherine A. Barnes, Assistant County Attorney, Grand Junction, Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellee.

          Martha Kent, Guardian Ad Litem.

          Leo L. Finkelstein Attorney at Law, P.C., Leo L. Finkelstein, Colorado Springs, Colorado, for Respondent-Appellant.

          Furman, Ashby, and Welling, JJ.

          ORDER OF LIMITED REMAND

          PER CURIAM.

         ¶ 1 In this dependency and neglect proceeding, mother, G.G., appeals the district court's order allocating parental responsibilities regarding her children, K.G. and A.R. Because the proceeding did not comply with the inquiry and notice requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901-1963 (2012), we remand the case for further proceedings.

         I. Background

         ¶ 2 The district court adjudicated the children dependent and neglected in the summer of 2015. The Mesa County Department of Human Services (Department) placed the children with their maternal aunt and uncle, where they remained throughout the case.

         ¶ 3 In February 2016, the Department moved for an allocation of parental responsibilities to the aunt and uncle. As grounds, the Department cited mother's inadequate compliance with her treatment plan, the incarceration of A.R.'s father, and the concession by K.G.'s father that he could not care for K.G. The district court granted the motion in August 2016.

         ¶ 4 The court did not address the applicability of ICWA before it entered its order allocating parental responsibilities. Neither the court nor the Department thoroughly inquired whether the children were Indian children. And, although the record indicates that the Department had reason to know at least one of the children might be an Indian child, there is no indication that the Department sent notice to the child's tribe.

         ¶ 5 But an allocation of parental responsibilities that removes an Indian child from the child's parent or Indian custodian is subject to ICWA. Therefore, we remand the case to the district court to conduct further proceedings to ...


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