Children’s Bureau Letter on Termination of Parental Rights During COVID

Childrens-Bureau-Letter-Termination-of-Parental-Rights-and-Adoption-Assistance

A decision to file a TPR petition should be made in light of the impediments that a parent might face as a result of the pandemic. An agency should evaluate carefully whether parents have had a meaningful opportunity to demonstrate that they have made the necessary efforts to reunify with their children before taking that step.

As such, I urge agencies to continue to consider the totality of each family’s circumstances prior to filing a TPR petition. During the pandemic and its aftermath, agencies also may want to consider instituting protocols that provide an extra layer of review prior to filing a TPR petition.

Ninth Circuit Decides Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation v. Yakima County

Here is the opinion. An excerpt:

This case presents the question whether the State of Washington may exercise criminal jurisdiction over members of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation who commit crimes on reservation land. To answer that question, we must interpret a 2014 Washington State Proclamation that retroceded—that is, gave back—“in part,” civil and criminal jurisdiction over the Yakama Nation to the United States, but retained criminal jurisdiction over matters “involving non-Indian defendants and non-Indian victims.” If “and,” as used in that sentence, is conjunctive, then the State retained jurisdiction only over criminal cases in which no party—suspects or victims—is an Indian. If, by contrast, “and” is disjunctive and should be read as “or,” then the State retained jurisdiction if any party is a non-Indian. We conclude, based on the entire context of the Proclamation, that “and” is disjunctive and must be read as “or.” We therefore affirm the district court.

Briefs here. Oral argument video here.

Stanford Law Review Online Publishes “Indian Lives Matter — Pandemics and Inherent Tribal Powers”

Fletcher’s paper, “Indian Lives Matter — Pandemics and Inherent Tribal Powers,” is now available online (PDF).

Fourth Circuit Briefs in Case Involving Tribal Sovereign Lending of Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake

Here are the briefs in Hengle v. Treppa:

Appellant Brief

Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Consumer Financial Services Regulatory Commission Amicus Brief

NAFOA Amicus Brief

New Mexico Amicus Brief

Lower court materials here.