Legal experts say Miccosukee tribe overstepped authority in seizing baby from Miami hospital

MIAMI — The Miccosukee nation insists that it acted lawfully when its tribal court issued a child-custody order, and then sent two tribal detectives to seize newborn Ingrid Johnson from her Indian mother at a hospital.

But Indian law experts and two former Miccosukee police chiefs said they believe the tribe overstepped its authority. And while the tribe is immune from state civil lawsuits, the parents could file claims against the hospital and Miami-Dade County police for their roles in the fiasco.

Read the full article at the Valdosta Daily Times website.

Billie v. Stier, April 25, 2014 (Florida)

Synopsis provided by Westlaw: After unmarried mother who was member of Indian tribe filed custody petition in tribal court, father filed custody petition in circuit court. The Circuit Court, Miami–Dade County, entered order determining that it had jurisdiction pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Mother filed petition for writ of prohibition.

Holding providing by Westlaw: The District Court of Appeal, Suarez, J., held that tribal court did not substantially comply with jurisdictional standards of the UCCJEA. Writ denied.
Read the full decision at the National Indian Law Library website.