Synopsis provided by Westlaw: In adoption proceedings in which Indian tribes intervened, claiming the child at issue was an Indian child protected by the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the 7th Judicial District Court, Bonneville County, Ralph L. Savage, Magistrate Judge, determined that child was not an Indian child, granted adoption, and granted attorney fees against tribes. Tribes appealed.
Holdings from Westlaw: The Supreme Court, W. Jones, J., held that:
1) any error in trial court’s failure to find that child was an Indian child subject to the ICWA was harmless;
2) trial court abused its discretion by compelling discovery with respect to application by child’s father for Indian tribe membership;
3) trial court abused its discretion by enjoining tribes from processing or filing any enrollment for tribal membership on behalf of child; and
4) trial court order granting attorney fees in favor of adoptive parents violated tribes’ sovereign immunity.
Affirmed in part and reversed in part.
Read the full decision at the National Indian Law Library website.