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ICWA Cases Update

Since the BIA indicated its intention to publish new regulations regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), there have been at least five lawsuits filed challenging various aspects of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), state versions of that law, or the new BIA Guidelines upon which the proposed regulations are based.  I previously…

Federal Lawsuits Challenging ICWA

Two federal court lawsuits have recently been filed challenging aspects of ICWA.  The complaint in each case is linked below: 2015.05.27 Nat Council for Adoption v. Jewell Complaint 2015.06.03 Baby Doe – MN ICWA Challenge in Voluntary Adoption The National Council for Adoption v. Jewell case takes aim at the federal ICWA and the New…

Comments on Proposed ICWA Regulations

The deadline has passed to submit comments on the BIA’s proposed ICWA regulations.  I submitted what ended up spiraling into a short treatise on the topic.  My comments may be useful to those trying to grasp the changes that would be made by the proposed regulations, as well as some of the substantive changes of…

Reconsideration Motions Filed in Federal ICWA Case

The Defendants in the Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Van Hunnik federal class action have all requested that the Court reconsider it’s most recent order, which granted summary judgment to the Plaintiffs on essentially all issues.  The reconsideration documents are available on Turtle Talk, and linked below.  The briefs (documents 168, 171, & 172) contain the…

New ICWA Regulations Proposed

On March 20, the BIA issued an expansive set of proposed regulations regarding state implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).  This is an exceptionally important development.  Previously, with regarding most parts of ICWA, the BIA only issued guidelines.  The Guidelines are persuasive authority that courts can look to for guidance, but are not…

BIA Issues Revised ICWA Guidelines

For the first time since 1979, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has updated its Guidelines for State Courts in Indian Child Custody Proceedings.  While not binding legal precedent, this document provides guidance in interpreting the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).  The original 1979 version has been relied  upon heavily by the courts.  Linked below is…

AP Story: Abused kids die as authorities fail to protect

The Associated Press released a story today with the headline “Abused kids die as authorities fail to protect.”  The main thrust of the story is that kids are dying from abuse in situations where authorities should have known they were being abused.  The story describes the child welfare system as “failing.” For some of the…