Cal.Welf. & Inst.Code § 305.5


California Codes

Welfare and Institutions Code

Division 2. Children

Part 1. Delinquents and Wards of the Juvenile Court

Chapter 2. Juvenile Court Law

Article 7. Dependent Children--Temporary Custody and Detention


§ 305.5. Removal of Indian child from custody of parents by state or local authority; transfer of proceedings to tribal court


(a) If an Indian child, who is a ward of a tribal court or resides or is domiciled within a reservation of an Indian tribe that has exclusive jurisdiction over child custody proceedings as recognized in Section 1911 of Title 25 of the United States Code or reassumed exclusive jurisdiction over Indian child custody proceedings pursuant to Section 1918 of Title 25 of the United States Code, has been removed by a state or local authority from the custody of his or her parents or Indian custodian, the state or local authority shall provide notice of the removal to the tribe no later than the next working day following the removal and shall provide all relevant documentation to the tribe regarding the removal and the child's identity. If the tribe determines that the child is an Indian child, the state or local authority shall transfer the child custody proceeding to the tribe within 24 hours after receipt of written notice from the tribe of that determination.


(b) In the case of an Indian child who is not domiciled or residing within a reservation of an Indian tribe or who resides or is domiciled within a reservation of an Indian tribe that does not have exclusive jurisdiction over child custody proceedings pursuant to Section 1911 or 1918 of Title 25 of the United States Code, the court shall transfer the proceeding to the jurisdiction of the child's tribe upon petition of either parent, the Indian custodian, if any, or the child's tribe, unless the court finds good cause not to transfer. The court shall dismiss the proceeding or terminate jurisdiction only after receiving proof that the tribal court has accepted the transfer of jurisdiction. At the time that the court dismisses the proceeding or terminates jurisdiction, the court shall also make an order transferring the physical custody of the child to the tribal court.


(c)(1) If a petition to transfer proceedings as described in subdivision (b) is filed, the court shall find good cause to deny the petition if one or more of the following circumstances are shown to exist:


(A) One or both of the child's parents object to the transfer.


(B) The child's tribe does not have a "tribal court" as defined in Section 1910 of Title 25 of the United States Code.


(C) The tribal court of the child's tribe declines the transfer.


(2) Good cause not to transfer the proceeding may exist if:


(A) The evidence necessary to decide the case cannot be presented in the tribal court without undue hardship to the parties or the witnesses, and the tribal court is unable to mitigate the hardship by making arrangements to receive and consider the evidence or testimony by use of remote communication, by hearing the evidence or testimony at a location convenient to the parties or witnesses, or by use of other means permitted in the tribal court's rules of evidence or discovery.


(B) The proceeding was at an advanced stage when the petition to transfer was received and the petitioner did not file the petition within a reasonable time after receiving notice of the proceeding, provided the notice complied with Section 224.2. It shall not, in and of itself, be considered an unreasonable delay for a party to wait until reunification efforts have failed and reunification services have been terminated before filing a petition to transfer.


(C) The Indian child is over 12 years of age and objects to the transfer.


(D) The parents of the child over five years of age are not available and the child has had little or no contact with the child's tribe or members of the child's tribe.


(3) Socioeconomic conditions and the perceived adequacy of tribal social services or judicial systems may not be considered in a determination that good cause exists.


(4) The burden of establishing good cause to the contrary shall be on the party opposing the transfer. If the court believes, or any party asserts, that good cause to the contrary exists, the reasons for that belief or assertion shall be stated in writing and made available to all parties who are petitioning for the transfer, and the petitioner shall have the opportunity to provide information or evidence in rebuttal of the belief or assertion.


(5) Nothing in this section or Section 1911 or 1918 of Title 25 of the United States Code shall be construed as requiring a tribe to petition the Secretary of the Interior to reassume exclusive jurisdiction pursuant to Section 1918 of Title 25 of the United States Code prior to exercising jurisdiction over a proceeding transferred under subdivision (b).


(d) An Indian child's domicile or place of residence is determined by that of the parent, guardian, or Indian custodian with whom the child maintained his or her primary place of abode at the time the Indian child custody proceedings were initiated.


(e) If any petitioner in an Indian child custody proceeding has improperly removed the child from the custody of the parent or Indian custodian or has improperly retained custody after a visit or other temporary relinquishment of custody, the court shall decline jurisdiction over the petition and shall immediately return the child to his or her parent or Indian custodian, unless returning the child to the parent or Indian custodian would subject the child to a substantial and immediate danger or threat of danger.


(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the emergency removal of an Indian child who is a ward of a tribal court or resides or is domiciled within a reservation of an Indian tribe, but is temporarily located off the reservation, from a parent or Indian custodian or the emergency placement of the child in a foster home or institution in order to prevent imminent physical damage or harm to the child. The state or local authority shall ensure that the emergency removal or placement terminates immediately when the removal or placement is no longer necessary to prevent imminent physical damage or harm to the child and shall expeditiously initiate an Indian child custody proceeding, transfer the child to the jurisdiction of the Indian child's tribe, or restore the child to the parent or Indian custodian, as may be appropriate.


CREDIT(S)


(Added by Stats.1999, c. 275 (A.B.65), § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Stats.2006, c. 838 (S.B.678), § 44.)

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