2018 State Court Cases

Last updated: February 22, 2018
Next update should be ready by: March 1, 2018

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Research was preformed through 2/22/18

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Hopi Tribe v. Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership
2018 WL 771809
No. 1 CA-CV 16-0521
Court of Appeals of Arizona, Division 1.
February 8, 2018

Legal Topics: Arizona Snowbowl; Public Nuisance

Related News Stories: Hopi suit over ski resort's wastewater snow revived (Courthouse News) 2/8/18



In re R.H. v. A.N.
2018 WL 636192
No. B282855
Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 6, California.
January 31, 2018

*Synopsis: Human Services Agency (HSA) brought dependency action against mother to terminate her parental rights to Indian child and select adoption as permanent plan. The Superior Court, Ventura County, No. J070951, Tari L. Cody, J., terminated mother's parental rights and found child was adoptable to non-Indian parents notwithstanding placement preferences under Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Mother appealed.

*Holdings: The Court of Appeal, Perren, J., held that:
1) disentitlement doctrine did not preclude appeal;
2) trial court had good cause to depart from ICWA's placement preferences;
3) mother's proffered additional evidence was inadmissible.

In Interest of J.L. and S.M.
2018 WL 549509
No. 17CA0339
Colorado Court of Appeals, Div. A.
January 25, 2018

*Synopsis: County department of human services sought to terminate mother's parental rights to children. The District Court, Alamosa County, No. 15JV114, Martin A. Gonzalez, J., entered order terminating mother's parental rights. Mother appealed.

*Holdings: The Court of Appeals held that department failed to comply with noticerequirements under Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and thus record on appeal did not support the trial court's finding that ICWA did not apply.

Related News Stories: Colorado Court of Appeals: Written advisement form does not satisfy ICWA notice requirements. (CBA CLE Legal Connection) 2/6/18.

In Matter of IW, MM, Jr., and NK
2017 WL 7048813
Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma, Division No. 2.
January 24, 2018

*Synopsis: State petitioned to terminate parental rights of father of minor children of Native American descent, alleging father, who resided in Kansas, failed to correct conditions which led to minor children's deprived status after he pled no contest to domestic battery for spanking one child who suffered significant bruising. The District Court, Pottawatomie County, Dawson R. Engle, J., terminated father's parental rights. Father appealed, raising issues under state and federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

*Holdings: The Court of Civil Appeals, Jerry L. Goodman, J., held that:
1) expert was qualified to testify regarding placement of minor children, and
2) expert testimony was insufficient to support required finding under ICWA that continued custody of children with father was likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage

In re Elizabeth M.
2018 WL 494747
Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 7, California.
January 22, 2018

*Synopsis: After amended dependency petition was sustained, the Superior Court, Los Angeles County, No. CK95071, Daniel Zeke Zeidler, J., terminated father's parental rights to two children. Father appealed.

*Holdings: The Court of Appeal, Perluss, P.J., held that:
1) trial court acted within its discretion in denying continuance of permanency hearing;
2) evidence was sufficient to support finding that any interference with children's relationship with their siblings did not outweigh benefits of permanency through adoption, supporting termination of father's rights; and
3)county department of children and family services failed to adequately investigate mother's claim of Indian ancestry, before determining that Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) did not apply to case.
Conditionally affirmed and remanded.


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