Miccosukee Tribe Ties Child Welfare Case to Violence Against Women

The Miccosukee Tribe is defending its handling of a child welfare case that has drawn national attention.The tribe said a newborn was taken from her mother, a Miccosukee citizen, in order to protect the baby girl and her older siblings from domestic violence. The mother had previously been victimized by her non-Indian former partner, whose presence at the hospital during the birth earlier this month led the maternal grandmother to seek custody of the baby.

Read the full article at the Indianz.com website.

Read related coverage from the Tuscaloosa News article, “Legal experts say tribe overstepped authority in seizing baby

Miami Appeals Court Rules Custody Battle Should Stay in State Court

A Miami appeals court says a custody dispute between a Miccosukee mother and non-Indian father should remain in state court, not tribal court.

The decision Wednesday by the Third District Court of Appeal marks the first time a Florida appeals court has agreed to strip the authority of tribal court judges in a child custody case.

Read the full article at the Miami Herald website.

Read other articles about this news at:


Susan R. Brown’s law website

and the Justice News Flash website.

Child custody case tests jurisdiction of Miccosukee, Miami-Dade courts (Miami Herald)

A South Florida custody case pivots on the Uniform Child Custody Juridiction and Enforcement Act, which establishes jurisdiction between states and tribes.

Under the child custody enforcement act, foreign countries — and under federal law, the Miccosukee reservation off Tamiami trail is a sovereign nation — are treated the same as other states when it comes to custody battles between parents.

The key provision of the law: the court with jurisdiction is the one from where the children resided “within 6 months” of the “commencement of the proceedings” for child custody.

A September 6 hearing will determine which court has jurisdiction.

Read more at the Miami Herald website.