In re N.K., 375 N.C. 805 (2020)

  • Facts: Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights, arguing the trial court failed to comply with the ICWA requirements involving notice to the tribes. Based on a reason to know  an Indian child may be involved, DSS sent notice to several tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians responded there was no affiliation. Responses were not received from other tribes the notice had been sent to. The court determined the child was not an Indian child.  
  • The court relies on its earlier opinion, In re E.J.B., 375 N.C. 95, 846 S.E.2d 472 (2020).
  • The notices that were sent to the tribes are not part of the record such that the appellate court cannot determine whether the notices are sufficient under the ICWA regulations. There is no indication as to whether DSS contacted the BIA for assistance after the other tribes failed to respond.
  • Remanded for further proceedings to address whether the notice provisions of ICWA were complied with prior to the entry of the TPR and whether the child is an Indian child.
Termination of Parental Rights
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