Judge Caution

ICWA in Delinquency

The California Supreme Court ruled in In re W.B. (2012) that California law requires a court to inquire about a child’s Indian status at the outset of all juvenile proceedings, but that ICWA’s additional procedures, including notice, are not required in most delinquency cases.

ICWA notice and compliance with the act’s other procedures are required in a delinquency case only when the Indian child is in foster care or at risk of entering foster care and at least one of the following is true:
  1. The proceedings are based on conduct that would not be a crime if committed by an adult;
  2. The court is contemplating terminating parental rights; or
  3. The court has found that the foster care placement is based entirely on conditions within the child’s home and not even in part on the child’s criminal conduct.