2019 State Court Cases

Last updated: January 9, 2019
Next update should be ready by: January 16, 2019

Recently Added Cases:

In re Children of Mary J.
2019 WL 81125
Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.
January 3, 2019

*Synopsis: The Department of Health and Human Services filed a child-protection petition alleging neglect by both the mother and the father of several children who were living with mother in an Indian reservation. The Department then requested a preliminary protection order, seeking custody of the children. The Calais District Court, D. Mitchell, J., allowed the Department to seek foster placement. Following Department's removal of the children from their mother's care, tribe filed motion to intervene. The District Court denied the motion. Tribe appealed.

*Holdings: The Supreme Judicial Court, Jabar, J., held that:
1) removal of children from mother's custody was not impermissible state regulation of the internal tribal matter of who had the right to reside within Indian territories, and
2) tribe's participation in child-custody case was not necessary to protect the tribe's sovereign power to decide who could and could not reside within its territory. Affirmed.

In re Shirley T.
2019 WL 81122
Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.
January 3, 2019

*Synopsis: In child protection proceeding involving children deemed to be Indian children under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), parents and Indian tribe moved to transfer jurisdiction of matter to Tribal Court. The Portland District Court, Powers, J., denied the motions. Parents appealed.

*Holdings: The Supreme Judicial Court, Gorman, J., held that trial court had “good cause,” within meaning of ICWA, not to transfer matter to Tribal Court.

Matter of J.J.C.
2018 WL 6804520
DA 18-0368
Supreme Court of Montana.
December 27, 2018

*Synopsis: Department of Public Health and Human Services filed petition for permanent legal custody and termination of parental rights concerning mother's parental rights to two of her three children, alleging that mother failed to complete her treatment plan. The District Court, Cascade County, Nos. BDN 16-112 and BDN 17-104, Elizabeth Best, J., terminated the parental rights. Mother appealed.

*Holdings: The Supreme Court,  McGrath, C.J., held that District Court was not required to make conclusive determination that children were not Indian children Affirmed.

In re J.Y.
2018 WL 6787125
No. C082548; No. C084428
Court of Appeal, Third District, California.
December 26, 2018

*Synopsis: After mother failed to reunify with Indian child and child was placed with caretakers, the Superior Court, Shasta County, No. 13JVSQ2986301, Leonard J. LaCasse, J., Retired Judge, sitting by assignment, removed child and placed child with caretakers of child's siblings to be adopted through tribal customary adoption. Contemporaneously, the Superior Court, Shasta County, Nos. 13JVSQ2986101, 13JVSQ2986201, 13JVSQ2986301, Gary G. Gibson, J., granted Pit River Tribe's petition for modification, giving full faith and credit to amended tribal customary adoption order. Mother appealed orders and appeals were consolidated.

*Holdings: The Court of Appeal, Robie, J., held that:
1) mother lacked standing to challenge child's removal from caretakers, and
2) court had authority to give full faith and credit to amended tribal customary adoption order.

Matter of B.Y.
2018 WL 6616976
DA 18-0152
Supreme Court of Montana.
December 18, 2018

Legal Topics: Indian Child Welfare Act - Termination of Parental Rights


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