Oral Argument in Colorado Supreme Court Case [ICWA]

Here

Colorado Gazette article on the case here.

Write up by MSU on the case here

When the Logan County, Colorado Department of Human Services removed two infant twin girls from the custody of their mother, the mother told the department that their father might have Chickasaw heritage. The department sent notice to the Chickasaw Nation, which responded that the children were eligible for citizenship and sent the necessary tribal citizenship forms to the department.

The Chickasaw Nation never got those forms back.

To all appearances, the agency simply ignored the notice from the Chickasaw Nation, and the Nation received no communication from the State. The State filed to terminate the mother’s parental rights and only at that point did Logan County disclose to the juvenile court that the children were eligible for enrollment in the Chickasaw Nation.

Federal Court Dismisses Muscogee (Creek) Nation Suit against Poarch Band Creek over Hickory Ground

Here are the materials in Muscogee (Creek) Nation v. Poarch Band of Creek Indians (M.D. Ala.):

190 Second Amended Complaint

200 Federal Motion to Dismiss

202 Tribal Defendants Motion to Dismiss

205 Individual Defendants Motion to Dismiss

210 Response to 200

211 Response to to 205

212 Response to 202

216 Reply in Support of 200

217 Reply in Support of 202

218 Reply in Support o 205

223 DCT Order

Prior posts here.

Materials in Suit against Caesars [Rincon Band]

Here are the materials so far in Pilant v. Caesars Entertainment Services Inc. (S.D. Cal.):

1 Notice of Removal

1-5 Complaint

3-1 Motion to Dismiss

4 Response

5 Reply

6 DCT Order

An excerpt:

This matter is before the Court on a motion by specially appearing Defendants Caesars Enterprise Services, LLC (“CES”) and Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (“CEI”) to dismiss the complaint for failure to join an indispensable party and for lack of personal jurisdiction. The motion has been fully briefed, and the Courtdeems it suitable for submission without oral argument. As discussed below, the motion to dismiss for failure to join an indispensable party is denied and the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction is granted in part and denied in part.

Crosscut Article on Greer Case

Here

ICWA was thereafter applied to the case, but the damage was done — the children were placed in foster care without the normal protections the law would have offered them. Now, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska are challenging the decision in the Washington State Supreme Court. If the court’s decision is upheld, advocates say the case could significantly weaken the use of ICWA in Washington by raising the bar for what qualifies as a “reason to know” that a child is “Indian” in the eyes of the law.

Kathryn Fort, director of Michigan State’s Indian Law Clinic, who is arguing on behalf of the tribes in the case involving Greer and Graham, says that it shouldn’t be so difficult. The burden of checking in with a tribe is low, she says, but the outcome has immense implications for the family, children and tribe.

Briefing and oral arguments here.

Briefing and Oral Arguments in In re Z.J.G. [Washington Supreme Court]

This is the appeal of the court of appeals opinion posted here.

Oral arguments here

Briefs:

The MSU ICWA Appellate Project co-represented the Tribes in this case, along with the Center for Indigenous Research and Justice.

NABA-DC Virtual Brownbag Series – Open to ALL Students & Recent Grads Interested in Indian Law & Policy Careers in DC

Every summer, the Native American Bar Association – DC organizes events and programs for summer interns working in the field of Indian law and policy. As many internships have been cancelled or have gone virtual, NABA-DC is also making its summer programs VIRTUAL. The NABA-DC programs include the Brownbag Program and Mentorship Program. Through each program, interns will be able to virtually meet and engage with attorneys and policy staff currently working in DC on issues impacting Indian Country.

If you are interested in participating please sign-up here: https://forms.gle/aR8s2TZgRM3bQeZdA

Brownbag Program: The NABA-DC Brownbag Program is for interns working in the field of Indian law and policy. This summer, NABA-DC will host virtual Brownbag events with host offices such as government agencies, law firms, and non-profit organizations.  You will get a chance to directly engage with attorneys and policy advisors currently working in DC on issues impacting Indian Country.  You will learn about their own personal career paths and the issues they work on each day. If you have any questions about the NABA-DC Brownbag program, please contact nabadcbrownbag@gmail.com.

Mentorship Program: NABA-DC coordinates a mentorship program each summer to give interns working or interested in Indian law and policy a personal networking experience.  Interns are matched with professionals working in Washington D.C., with efforts made to find mentors who are working in the same fields the interns wish to enter, enriching the interns’ educational experience in D.C. and connecting practitioners with the next generation of Native leaders.  If you have any questions about the NABA-DC mentorship program, please contact nabadcmentorship@gmail.com.

Fifth Circuit Briefs in Immunity/Federal Jurisdiction Case Involving Hoopa Valley Tribe

Here are the briefs in Mitchell v. Bailey:

AppellantsOpeningBrief030920

Hoopa Appeal Brief_ECF Filed

MitchellReplyBrief052120

Hoopa Reply

Lower court materials in Mitchell v. Bailey (W.D. Tex.):

1 Complaint

32 Hoopa Motion to Dismiss

34 Response

35 Hoopa Motion to Substitute US as Party

40 Response

41 Reply in Support of 32

47 Reply in Support of 35

48 DCT Order

Amicus Briefs filed in Texas v. Bernhardt [ICWA]

All briefs are here.

Intervening Tribes Press Release (released before the Tribal brief with over 400 tribal signatories):

Majority of U.S. States, 75 Members of Congress and more than 30 Organizations File Amicus Briefs in Support of Native American Families and Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 26 states and the District of Columbia, 75 members of Congress and more than 30 organizations filed friend-of-the-court briefs before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in Brackeen v. Bernhardt. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., Morongo Band of Mission Indians Chairman Robert Martin, Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill and Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp issued the following statement regarding the amicus briefs:

“We are thrilled to see that more than half of all states across the country, 75 members of Congress and dozens of leading organizations are taking a stand for the best interests of Indian children and families. This continuous support from across the political spectrum is a testament to the critical role that ICWA plays in promoting the stability and security of Indian tribes and families. Together, we are fighting back against the meritless attacks on ICWA. We are confident that the Fifth Circuit will again stand on the side of families and children by upholding the law.”

The Cherokee Nation, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Oneida Nation and Quinault Nation are co-defendants in the case, defending the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) against unwarranted attacks on the law’s constitutionality.

For more than 40 years, ICWA has provided a process for determining the best interests of Indian children in the adoption and foster care systems. The tribes are arguing to defend ICWA alongside the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Interior. The case will be reheard on January 22, 2020.

The amicus briefs filed by the following States – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin – as well as the District of Columbia, can be found here.

The amicus briefs from members of Congress can be found here, and the amicus briefs from leading organizations here.

Amici include organizations and political leaders from across the country spanning the political spectrum, and the U.S. states are represented by attorneys general from both the Republican and Democratic parties. They also include law professors and Native women writing in support of ICWA.

In 2017, individual plaintiffs Chad and Jennifer Brackeen, a couple from Texas, along with the state attorneys general in Texas, Louisiana, and Indiana, sued the U.S. Department of the Interior and its now-former Secretary Ryan Zinke to challenge ICWA. The Morongo, Quinault, Oneida and Cherokee tribes intervened as defendants in the case, and their recent brief can be found here.

On August 9, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed that the Indian Child Welfare Act is constitutional and serves the best interests of children and families. On October 1, 2019, plaintiffs in Brackeen v. Bernhardt chose to continue their attacks on Indian children and tribal families and requested an en banc rehearing before the Fifth Circuit, which the court granted.

There is broad, bipartisan support against this misguided attack on a law that is crucial for protecting the well-being of Indian children and Indian sovereignty. In addition to states and members of Congress, the Trump administration has strongly defended ICWA and its protections for Indian children, explaining that ICWA is an appropriate exercise of Congress’s authority to legislate in the field of Indian affairs and does not violate the Tenth Amendment or equal protection laws.

For additional information on this case and the Indian Child Welfare Act please visit: www.ProtectIndianKids.com