In re Mischa S., June 24, 2014 (Nebraska)

Synopsis provided by Westlaw: State filed petition to have child adjudicated as lacking proper parental care. Parents, one of whom was member of Indian tribe, entered no contest admission to petition, and child was allowed to remain at home under supervision. Guardian ad litem (GAL) subsequently moved to remove child from home. Following a hearing, the County Court, Buffalo County, Graten D. Beavers, J., ordered the child to be placed in foster care and declared a provision of the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) unconstitutional. Parents appealed.

Holdings provided by Westlaw: The Court of Appeals Moore, J., held that:
(1) there was not clear and convincing expert evidence that serious emotional damage would result if child, who became subject of original adjudication petition because of excessive school absences, were not removed from parents’ home, as
required for foster care placement under Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA); (2) juvenile court’s sua sponte determination, that provision of Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was unconstitutional as applied, was void; and
(3) in proceedings under the Nebraska ICWA for foster placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child, proof by a preponderance of the evidence is the standard for satisfying the court of active efforts to prevent the breakup of Indian family.
Reversed and remanded.

Read the full decision at the National Indian Law Library website.