Payton S. v. State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, may 1, 2015, (Alaska)

Synopsis provided by Westlaw: The Office of Children’s Services (OCS) sought to terminate parental rights to Indian children. The Superior Court, Fourth Judicial District, Bethel, Dwayne W. McConnell, J., terminated parental rights. Parents appealed.

Holdings provided by Westlaw: The Supreme Court, Maassen, J., held that:
(1) even though the trial court erred by entering an adjudication and disposition order when the parents lacked proper notice of the hearing, the error did not violate parents’ due process rights as it did not affect the outcome of the case;
(2) evidence supported finding that children were children in need of aid (CINA);
(3) evidence supported finding that parents had failed to remedy the conduct that placed the children at substantial risk of harm;
(4) evidence supported finding that Indian children were likely to suffer serious emotional or physical harm if returned to their parents’ custody; and
(5) the trial court’s determination that termination of mother and father’s parental rights was in the best interests of their Indian children was not clearly erroneous.

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