Background from Westlaw: State filed petition to terminate the parental rights of mother and father to their purportedly Indian children. Father sought transfer of proceedings to Tribal Court. Prior to juvenile court’s ruling on motion to transfer, the state withdrew its motion to terminate parental rights. The Separate Juvenile Court, Lancaster County, Reggie L. Ryder, J., found that good cause existed to deny request to transfer jurisdiction because the proceedings were in an advanced stage. Father appealed.
Holdings from Westlaw: The Supreme Court, Wright, J. , held that:
1 because state did not meet its burden of establishing good cause to deny transfer of proceeding to tribal court, juvenile court abused its discretion in denying father’s motion to transfer;
2 determination that the foster placement or termination of parental rights proceeding involving an Indian child is at an advanced stage is no longer a valid basis for finding good cause to deny a motion to transfer jurisdiction to a tribal court; and
3 Supreme Court would decline state’s invitation to change its prior holding that the best interests of an Indian child may not be considered when determining whether good cause exists to deny transfer of a foster placement or termination of parental rights proceeding to a tribal court.
Reversed and remanded.
Read the full decision at the National Indian Law Library website.