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Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Code

TITLE IV DOMESTIC RELATIONS

CHAPTER 10 PATERNITY
Section 4-10-1. Presumption of Paternity
Section 4-10-2. Determination of Father-Child Relationship; Who May Bring Action; When Action May Be Brought 
Section 4-10-3. Statute of Limitations
Section 4-10-4. Jurisdiction; Joinder
Section 4-10-5. Parties. The child shall be made a party to the action
Section 4-10-6. Pre-Trial Procedures 
Section 4-10-7. Clinical Test Evidence
Section 4-10-8. Evidence Relating to Paternity
Section 4-10-9. Pre-Trial Recommendations
Section 4-10-10. Civil Action; Jury
Section 4-10-11. Judgment or Order 
Section 4-10-12. Birth Records 
Section 4-10-13. When Notice of Adoption Proceeding Required 
Section 4-10-14. Proceeding to Terminate Parental Rights>

PTN Code § 4-10-1
Section 4-10-1. Presumption of Paternity

1. A man is presumed to be the natural father of a child if:

a. he and the child's natural mother are or have been married to each other and the child is born during marriage, or within three hundred (300) days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce, or after a decree of separation is entered by a court;

b. before the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother have attempted to marry each other by marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and,

1. if the attempted marriage could be declared invalid only by a court, the child is born during the attempted marriage, or within three hundred (300) days after its termination.

2. if the attempted marriage is invalid without a court order, the child is born within three hundred (300) days after the termination of cohabitation.

c. after the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother have married, or attempted to marry, each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law and/or custom and tradition, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and

1. he has acknowledged his paternity of the child in writing filed with the Juvenile Court,

2. with his consent, he is named as the child's father on the child's birth certificate, or

3. he is obligated to support the child under a written voluntary promise or by court order;

d. while the child is under the age of majority, he receives the child into his home and openly holds out the child as his natural child; or

e. he acknowledges his paternity of the child in a writing filed with the Juvenile Court, which shall promptly inform the mother of the filing of the acknowledgment, and she does not dispute the acknowledgment within a reasonable time after being informed thereof, in a writing filed with the Court. If another man is presumed under this section to be the child's father, acknowledgment may be effected only with the written consent of the presumed father or after the presumption has been rebutted.

2. A presumption under this section may be rebutted in an appropriate action only by clear and convincing evidence. If two (2) or more presumptions arise which conflict with each other, the presumption which on the facts is founded on the weightier considerations of policy and logic controls. The presumption is rebutted by a court decree establishing paternity of the child by another man.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-1, PTN Code § 4-10-1

PTN Code § 4-10-2
Section 4-10-2. Determination of Father-Child Relationship; Who May Bring Action; When Action May Be Brought

1. A child, his natural mother, or a man presumed to be his father under Section 4-10-1(a), (b), and (c), may bring an action:

a. at anytime during the minority of the child for the purpose of declaring the existence of the father-child relationship presumed under Section 4-10-1(a), (b), or (c); or

b. for the purpose of declaring the non-existence of the father-child relationship presumed under Section 4-10-1(a), (b), or (c), only if the action is brought within a reasonable time after obtaining knowledge of relevant facts, but in no event later than five (5) years after the child's birth. After the presumption has been rebutted, paternity of the child by another man may be determined in the same action, if he has been made a party.

1. Any interested party may bring an action at any time for the purpose of determining the existence or non-existence of the father-child relationship presumed under Section 4-10-1(d) and (e).

2. An action to determine the existence of the father-child relationship with respect to a child who has no presumed father under Section 4-10-1 may be brought by the child, the mother or personal representative of the child, the appropriate social services agency, the personal representative or a parent of the mother if the mother has died, a man alleged or alleging himself to be the father, or the personal representative or parent of the alleged father if the alleged father has died or is a minor.

3. Regardless of the terms, an agreement, other than an agreement approved by the Court in accordance with Section 12:09(B), between an alleged or presumed father and the mother or child, does not bar an action under this Section.

4. If an action under this Section is brought before the birth of the child, all proceedings shall be stayed until after the birth, except service of process and the taking of depositions to perpetuate testimony.

5. The mother's presumed subsequent marriage to a man other than the presumed or alleged father(s) shall not preclude any qualified person from bringing an action under this Chapter.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-2, PTN Code § 4-10-2

PTN Code § 4-10-3
Section 4-10-3. Statute of Limitations

An action to determine the existence of the father-child relationship as to a child who has no presumed father under Section 4-10-1 may not be brought later than three (3) years after the birth of the child, or later than three (3) years after the effective date of this Code, whichever is later. However, an action brought by or on behalf of a child whose paternity has not been determined is not barred until three (3) years after the child reaches the age of majority.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-3, PTN Code § 4-10-3


PTN Code § 4-10-4
Section 4-10-4. Jurisdiction; Joinder

1. A person who has sexual intercourse within the territorial jurisdiction of the Tribe thereby submits to the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court as to an action brought under this Code with respect to a child who may have been conceived by that act of intercourse. In addition to any other method provided by rule or statute, personal jurisdiction may be acquired by personal service of summons outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Tribe or by registered mail with proof of actual receipt.

2. An action under this Chapter may be joined with an action for divorce, annulment, separate maintenance or support.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-4, PTN Code § 4-10-4


PTN Code § 4-10-5
Section 4-10-5. Parties

The child shall be made a party to the action. He shall be represented by his general guardian or a guardian ad litem appointed by the Court.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-5, PTN Code § 4-10-5


PTN Code § 4-10-6
Section 4-10-6. Pre-Trial Procedures

1. As soon as practicable after an election to declare the existence or nonexistence of the father-child relationship has been brought, an informal, closed hearing shall be held. A record of the proceeding or any portion thereof shall be kept if any party requests, or the Court orders.

2. Upon refusal of any witness, including a party, to testify under oath or produce evidence, the Court may order him to testify under oath and produce evidence concerning all relevant facts. If the refusal is upon the ground that his testimony or evidence might tend to incriminate him, the Court may grant him immunity from all criminal liability on account of the testimony or evidence he is required to produce. An order granting immunity bars prosecution of the witness for any offense shown in whole or part by testimony or evidence testimony. The refusal of a witness, who has been granted immunity, to obey an order to testify or produce evidence is in civil contempt of court.

3. Testimony of a physician concerning the medical circumstances of the pregnancy and the condition and characteristics of the child upon birth is not privileged.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-6, PTN Code § 4-10-6


PTN Code § 4-10-7
Section 4-10-7. Clinical Test Evidence

1. Court Ordered Testing for Paternity. In any action or proceeding under this Chapter, upon motion of the Court or of any of the interested parties for good cause shown, the Court shall order the mother, her child or children, and the alleged father(s) to submit to an examination of blood and tissue specimens for the purpose of testing any genetic systems that are generally accepted within the scientific community for the determination of paternity probability. The results of the tests, together with the opinions and conclusions of the testing laboratory, shall be filed with the Court.

2. Persons Authorized to Perform Test; Liability. Only a physician, laboratory technician, registered nurse, physician's assistant, phlebotomist, expanded role licensed practical nurse, medical technician or medical technologist, acting under court order, or at the request of both the mother and the alleged father of the child, may withdraw blood or tissue for the purpose of testing to determine parentage. Such persons, and any hospital or laboratory employing such persons, may not be held liable for damages to the party from whom the blood or tissue is withdrawn, if the withdrawal is administered with usual and ordinary care.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-7, PTN Code § 4-10-7

PTN Code § 4-10-8
Section 4-10-8. Evidence Relating to Paternity

Evidence relating to paternity may include:

1. Evidence of sexual intercourse between the mother and alleged father at any possible time of conception;

2. An expert's opinion concerning the statistical probability of the alleged father's paternity based upon the duration of the mother's pregnancy;

3. Laboratory test results, weighted in accordance with evidence, if available, of the statistical probability of the alleged father's paternity;

4. Medical or anthropological evidence relating to the alleged father's paternity of the child based on tests performed by experts. If a man has been identified as a possible father of the child, the Court may, and upon request of a party shall, require the child, the mother, and the man to submit to appropriate tests; and

5. All other evidence relevant to issue of paternity of the child.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-8, PTN Code § 4-10-8


PTN Code § 4-10-9
Section 4-10-9. Pre-Trial Recommendations

1. On the basis of the information produced at the pre-trial hearing, the judge conducting the hearing shall evaluate the probability of determining the existence or non-existence of the father and child relationship in a trial and whether a judicial declaration of the relationship would be in the best interests of the child. On the basis of the evaluation, an appropriate recommendation for settlement shall be made to the parties, which may include any of the following:

a. that the action be dismissed with or without prejudice;

b. that the matter be compromised by an agreement among the alleged father, the mother, and the child, in which the father and child relationship is not determined but in which a defined economic obligation is undertaken by the alleged father in favor of the child and, if appropriate, in favor of the mother, subject to approval by the judge conducting the hearing. In reviewing the obligation undertaken by the alleged father in a compromise agreement, the judge conducting the hearing shall consider the best interests of the child, discounted by the improbability, as it appears to him, of establishing the alleged father's paternity or nonpaternity of the child in a trial of the action. In the best interest of the child, the Court may order that the alleged father's identity be kept confidential. In that case, the Court may designate a person or agency to receive from the alleged father and disburse on behalf of the child all amounts paid by the alleged father in fulfillment of obligations imposed on him; and

c. that the alleged father voluntarily acknowledge his paternity of the child.

1. If the parties accept a recommendation made in accordance with subsection (A), judgment shall be entered accordingly.

2. If a party refuses to accept a recommendation made under Subsection (A) and laboratory tests have not been taken, the Court shall require the parties to submit to laboratory tests, if practicable. Thereafter the Judge shall make an appropriate final recommendation. If a party refuses to accept the final recommendation, the action shall be set for trial.

3. The Guardian Ad Litem may accept or refuse to accept a recommendation under this Section.

4. The informal hearing may be terminated and the action set for trial if the judge conducting the hearing finds it unlikely that all parties would accept a recommendation he might make under Subsection (A) or (C).

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-9, PTN Code § 4-10-9

PTN Code § 4-10-10
Section 4-10-10. Civil Action; Jury

1. An action under this Chapter is a civil action governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, except to the extent such rules are inconsistent with this Chapter. The mother of the child and the alleged father are competent to testify and may be compelled to testify.

2. Testimony relating to sexual access to the mother by an unidentified man at any time or by an identified man at a time other than a possible time of conception of the child is inadmissible in evidence, unless offered by the mother.

3. In an action against an alleged father, evidence offered by him with respect to a man who is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Court concerning his sexual intercourse with the mother at or about a possible time of conception of the child is admissible in evidence only if he has undergone and made available to the Court laboratory tests the results of which do not exclude the possibility of his paternity of the child. A man who is identified and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Court shall be made a defendant in the action.

4. The trial shall be by the Juvenile Court without a jury.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-10, PTN Code § 4-10-10

PTN Code § 4-10-11
Section 4-10-11. Judgment or Order

1. The judgment or order of the Court determining the existence or nonexistence of the parent-child relationship is determinative for all purposes.

2. If the judgment or order of the Court is at variance with the child's birth certificate, the Court shall order that a new birth certificate be issued under Section 4-10-12.

3. The judgment or order may contain any other provision directed against the appropriate party to the proceeding, concerning the duty of support, the custody and guardianship of the child, visitation privileges with the child, the furnishing of bond or other security for the payment of the judgment, or any other matter in the best interest of the child. The judgment or order may direct the father to pay the reasonable expenses of the mother's pregnancy and confinement. Support orders shall conform to the specifications in Chapter 5.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-11, PTN Code § 4-10-11

PTN Code § 4-10-12
Section 4-10-12. Birth Records

1. Upon order of a Tribal Court or upon request of a foreign court, the registrar of births shall prepare a new certificate of birth consistent with the findings of the Court and shall substitute the new certificate for the original certificate of birth.

2. The fact that the father-child relationship was declared after the child's birth shall not be ascertainable from the new certificate but the actual place and date of birth shall be shown.

3. The evidence upon which the new certificate was made and the original birth certificate shall be kept in a sealed and confidential file and be subject to inspection only upon consent of the Court and all interested persons, or in exceptional cases only upon an order of the Court for good cause shown.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-12, PTN Code § 4-10-12

PTN Code § 4-10-13
Section 4-10-13. When Notice of Adoption Proceeding Required

(1) If a mother relinquishes or proposes to relinquish for adoption of a child who has (1) a presumed father under Section 4-10-1(1); (2) a father whose relationship to the child has been determined by a court; or (3) a father as to whom the child is a legitimate child under prior law of Ponca Tribe of Nebraska or under the law of another jurisdiction, the father shall be given notice of the adoption proceeding and have the rights provided under this Code, unless the father's relationship to the child has been previously terminated or determined by a court not to exist.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-13, PTN Code § 4-10-13

PTN Code § 4-10-14
Section 4-10-14. Proceeding to Terminate Parental Rights

1. If a mother relinquishes or proposes to relinquish for adoption a child who does not have (1) a presumed father under Section 4-10-1, (2) a father whose relationship to the child has been determined by a court, or (3) a father as to whom the child is a legitimate child under prior law of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska or under the law of another jurisdiction, or if a child otherwise becomes the subject of an adoption proceeding, the agency or person to whom the child has been or is to be relinquished, or the mother or the person having custody of the child, shall file a petition in the Juvenile Court to terminate the parental rights of the father, pursuant to Title III, Section 3-5-16, unless the father's relationship to the child has been previously terminated or determined by a court not to exist.

2. In an effort to identify the natural father, the Court shall cause inquiry to be made of the mother and any other appropriate person. The inquiry shall include the following: whether the mother was married at the time of the conception of the child or at any time thereafter; whether the mother was cohabiting with a man at the time of conception or birth of the child; whether the mother has received support payments or promises of support with respect to the child or in connection with her pregnancy; or whether any man has formally or informally acknowledged or declared his possible paternity of the child.

3. If, after the inquiry, the natural father is identified to the satisfaction of the Court, or if more than one man is identified as a possible father, each shall be given notice of the proceeding in accordance with Section 4-10-13. If any of them fails to appear or, if appearing, fails to claim custodial rights, his parental rights with reference to the child shall be terminated. If the natural father or a man representing himself to be the natural father, claims custodial rights, the Court shall proceed to determine custodial rights.

4. If, after the inquiry, the Court is unable to identify the natural father or any possible natural father and no person has appeared claiming to be the natural father and claiming custodial rights, the Court shall enter an order terminating the unknown natural father's parental rights with reference to the child.

5. Notice of the proceeding shall be given to every person identified as the natural father or a possible natural father in accordance with this Chapter. Proof of giving the notice shall be filed with the Court before the petition is heard. If no person has been identified as the natural father or a possible father, the Court, on the basis of all information available shall determine whether publication or public posting or notice of the proceeding is likely to lead to identification and, if so, shall order publication or public posting at times and in places and manner it deems appropriate.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-10-14, PTN Code § 4-10-14

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