Matter of Guardianship I.L.J.E., December 12, 2018 (Supreme Court of South Dakota)

Synopsis provided by Westlaw: Brother and sister-in-law of mother killed by child’s father petitioned for guardianship of child, but father requested that his sister, a Native American, be appointed guardian of child, who was an enrolled member of a tribe. The Circuit Court, Third Judicial Circuit, Brookings County,¬†Gregory J. Stoltenburg, J., granted brother and sister-in-law’s petition. Father appealed.

Holdings provided by Westlaw: The Supreme Court, Zinter, J., held that:
1) trial court had jurisdiction pursuant to the Guardianship Act to transfer custody of child;
2) brother and sister-in-law were not required to provide father with each one of the procedural protections required in state-instituted abuse and neglect proceedings;
3) trial court’s requirement that father appear via interactive television at hearing did not deprive father of due process; and
4) trial court did not abuse its discretion in appointing brother and sister-in-law permanent guardians.

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