Synopsis provided by Westlaw: Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Children’s Services (OCS), took emergency custody of three children and petitioned to terminate mother’s parental rights. The Superior Court, Fourth Judicial District, Fairbanks, Douglas Blankenship, J., denied mother’s motion to join grandmother, and grandmother’s motion to intervene as the children’s Indian custodian. Grandmother appealed.
Holdings provided by Westlaw: The Supreme Court, Stowers, J., held that:
(1) actions of mother and father acted to terminate grandmother’s Indian custodianship of the children;
(2) once parents informed the OCS that they did not want children placed with grandparents, OCS had no duty to provide grandmother with notice under the Indian Child Welfare Act of the Pendency of a child in need of aid (CINA) proceeding;
(3) any error by the OCS in failing to inquire into grandmother’s Indian custodian status, or to provide grandmother with notice of her rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act was harmless; and
(4) mother’s act of revoking maternal grandparent’s status as Indian custodian revoked, at least as far as the relationship between the OCS and grandmother was concerned, any indicia of custody that grandmother may have acquired through powers of attorney.
View the decision at the National Indian Law Library website.