Active Efforts Case from South Dakota Supreme Court [ICWA]

South Dakota is sending us into the weekend with a positive attitude with this decision. In a shocking development [not shocking] it turns out that if an agency “ceased providing any efforts toward reunification after the December 2019 hearing. This means that from December 2019 to September 2020 no efforts were made by DSS to provide Mother remedial services or rehabilitative programs and no efforts were made to reunite C.H. with Mother” then, “[t]he circuit court’s finding of fact to the contrary—that DSS ‘has been providing active efforts to this family since October 2, 2018; including in-home services to prevent placement, and ongoing services to allow safe return of the child to no avail’—is not supported by the record. To the extent this finding suggests that DSS’s efforts were ongoing up to the point of the dispositional hearing, it is clearly erroneous.”

Unusually, I didn’t add any of the italics. That’s all the South Dakota Supreme Court. 

Also, anyone else get excited when a Court starts a paragraph like this: “Because this error [termination of parental rights] requires a remand, we take this opportunity to address additional errors that occurred below to prevent their reoccurrence.”?  _insert eating popcorn emoji_

So, in addition to not appointing the child an attorney despite state law requiring it, the Court also says “Second, although not raised as an issue on appeal, there are glaring defects involving ICWA mandates in the underlying proceeding that we cannot ignore.” The QEW testimony did not satisfy the evidentiary burden, and the court found that termination was not the least restrictive alternative given the child’s best interests. 

Mom did a ton of work on her own in this case despite and in spite of the state’s inaction. The Court’s recognition of this is a welcome change from most child welfare decisions. 

Denezpi v. United States — Cert Petition re: CFR Courts as Federal Courts

Here is the petition and appendix:

Cert Petition

Appendix

Lower court materials here.

Question presented:

Is the Court of Indian Offenses of Ute Mountain Ute Agency a federal agency such that Merle Denezpi’s conviction in that court barred his subsequent prosecution in a United States District Court for a crime arising out of the same incident?

Update:

Federal Opposition Brief

Friday Job Announcements

____________________________________________________________________________ 

To post an open Indian law or leadership job to Turtle Talk, send the following information to indigenous@law.msu.edu: 

In the email body: 

  1. A typed brief description of the position which includes: 
    • Position title 
    • Location (city, state) 
    • Main duties 
    • Closing date 
    • Any other pertinent details such as links to the application 
  2. An attached PDF job announcement. 

____________________________________________________________________________ 

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI):

Senior Manager of Educational Programs, Washington, D.C. The Senior Manager will: (1) Deliver high quality educational programming that serves the interests and needs of ELI’s membership. (2) Recruit new members of ELI’s various membership programs. (3) Facilitate all administrative and logistical aspects of the education events. (4) Reach out to constituents and represent the Institute publicly as needed to communicate and foster particular programs and projects. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates can apply through ELI’s application portal here no later than Friday, August 6, 2021 and must include a cover letter, resume, 1 page writing sample, and a list of references. 

Staff Attorney, Washington, D.C. The Staff Attorney will: (1) Perform extensive legal and policy research and analysis. (2) Develop written products on law and policy topics in a range of formats. (3) Facilitate and coordinate meetings and communications with partners and represent the Institute publicly as needed. (4) Occasionally direct ELI projects by performing, assigning, and supervising delegated project tasks, and adhering to project budgets. (5) Periodic travel to domestic and international destinations as projects required. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates can apply through ELI’s application portal here no later than August 15, 2021 and must include a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample, and a list of 3 references. 

Science Fellow for the Climate Judiciary Project, Washington, D.C. Science Fellows will: (1) Provide content research on climate science for curriculum. (2) Draft materials for publication and presentation on the intersections of climate science law and policy. (3) Help develop science content for the website. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates can apply through ELI’s application portal here no later than Friday, July 16, 2021 and must include a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample. 

Native American Rights Fund (NARF):

Summer 2022 Law Clerk. Positions are available in all three of NARF’s offices: Anchorage, AK; Boulder, CO; and Washington, D.C. Please indicate your office preference in your cover letter. Law Clerks will: (1) Work towards preservation of tribal existence. (2) Protect tribal natural resources. (3) Promote Native American human rights. (4) Hold governments accountable to Native Americans. (5) Develop Indian law and educate the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates can send applications to kcheng@narf.org by September 10, 2021. Applications must include a cover letter, resume, non-collaborative legal writing sample, law school transcript, one letter of recommendation, and three references.

Paralegal, Boulder, CO. Paralegals will: (1) Coordinate and manage all aspects of cases and matters, including all phases of the litigation process. (2) Provide litigation, administrative, and clerical support for multiple attorneys. Please see the position description for more information. To apply, submit by email a cover letter, complete resume, and three professional references to Ron Mack at: rmack@narf.org. Position is open until filled.

Staff Attorney, Boulder, CO (preferred) or Washington, D.C. The Staff Attorney will: (1) Have excellent research and writing skills to assume a water rights and litigation docket. (2) Have interest in federal Indian law, experience with, and knowledge of, Native American communities and culture; and experience with federal and/or state court litigation. Experience in water law is a plus. Please see the position description for more information. To apply, submit a cover letter, complete resume (including representative sample of litigation matters), three professional references, and a writing sample  to Ron Mack at: rmack@narf.org. Position is open until filled.

Michigan Indian Legal Services

AmeriCorps Attorney/Paralegal for Medical-Legal Partnership Program, Traverse City, MI. Attorneys will: (1) Offer trainings for health providers and legal assistance for low-income patients at partnering hospitals or health clinics serving tribes. (2) Provide direct legal help to low-income patients at Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Health Services and Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians Health Clinic. (3) Provide periodic trainings and presentations to providers at medical facilities. (4) Recruit and train new volunteers from local health partners. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should apply here

Anishinabe Legal Services  

Staff Attorney, Cass Lake and White Earth, MN. Attorneys will: (1) Handle a wide variety of civil matters before State and Tribal Courts. (2) Be able to handle a large caseload of client matters throughout a wide geographic service area. Please see the position description for more details. Email a cover letter and resume to ALS Executive Director Cody Nelson at: cnelson@alslegal.org. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Tribal Council

Senior Assistant General Counsel, Fountain Hills, AZ. Senior Assistant General Counsels will: (1) Serve as a senior legal advisor to the Tribal Council, tribal government departments, and economic enterprises. (2) Provide legal advice and analysis of tribal, State, and Federal laws and regulations. (3) Draft and revise the Tribal Constitution, Law and Order Code, other tribal laws, ordinances, and policies. (4) Represent the Nation in Tribal, State, and Federal court actions. Please see the job description for more information. Interested candidates should submit their application to recruiter@fmyn.org by August 3, 2021.

Maier Pfeffer Kim Geary & Cohen LLP

Associate Attorney (Indian Gaming), Oakland, CA. Associate Attorneys will provide legal advice and counsel to tribal casinos and development boards. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should send their resumes to hiring@jmandmplaw.com.

Oneida Nation

Family Court Judge, Oneida, WI. The Family Court Judge will: (1) Preside over the Oneida Nation’s family law and child welfare cases. (2) Oversee proper management of the Family Court’s calendar and business, including recruiting and training guardians ad litem. (3) Supervise the Clerks of Family Court. (4) Assist in developing the annual budget for the Family Court. For more information, please see the position description or apply here. The position is open until filled.

Michigan State University College of Law

Assistant Director of Academic Support, East Lansing, MI. The Administrative Director will: (1) Manage Academic Success Program bar exam programming by developing and implementing new bar exam preparation for students to help maximize bar passage. (2) Provide guidance to and oversee all ASP Peer Mentors. (3) Advise all law students on academic support and bar support matters. Please view the position description for more information and apply here. Applications must include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for at least 3 references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the posting is open until filled.

Earthjustice

Managing Attorney, Anchorage or Juneau, AK. The Managing Attorney will: (1) Manage, develop, and implement regional strategies that align with organization-wide strategic plans and programmatic and litigation priorities. (2) Drive efforts to build and maintain effective working relationships with clients and partners, as well as with the news media, government officials, and donors. Please see the position description for more information. Please submit your resume and expression of interest to: Chris Spagnola at cspagnola@thinkingahead.com and Jessica Martinez at jmartinez@thinkingahead.com

Managing Attorney at the Northern Rockies Office, Bozeman, MT. The Managing Attorney will: (1) Lead and oversee the work of the Northern Rockies Office. (2) Manage, develop, and implement regional strategies that align with organization-wide strategic plans and programmatic and litigation priorities. (3) Drive efforts to build and maintain effective working relationships with clients and partners, as well as with the news media, government officials, and donors. Please see the position description for more information. Please submit your resume and expression of interest to: Chris Spagnola at cspagnola@thinkingahead.com and Jessica Martinez at jmartinez@thinkingahead.com.  

Fort Lewis College

Visiting Instructors of Political Science, Durango, CO. Visiting Instructors will: (1) Teach four undergraduate courses per semester. (2) Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as working with broadly diverse communities. (3) Mentor political science students and supervise undergraduate research projects. Please see the position description for more information. Submit materials as one PDF file via email by July 25, 2021 to: VisitingInstructor-Search@fortlewis.edu. Position will remain open until filled.

Rosette LLP

Indian Law Attorney, Sacramento, CA. The Attorney will: (1) Protect the interests of federally-recognized Indian Tribes and matters involving Native American heritage. (2) Provide support in areas of Federal Indian law including in the areas of litigation (in tribal, state and federal courts), transactional law, gaming law, internal tribal governance matters, lobbying, water law, and environmental law. (3) Build and maintain strong client relationships. (4) Must be willing to travel and work on client matters throughout the United States. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should submit their cover letter, resume, and a writing sample via email to: Michelle LaPena at mlapena@rosettelaw.com by 07/31/2021.

The Wilderness Society (TWS)

Associate Attorney. Denver, CO or Washington, D.C. preferred; other TWS office locations considered. The Associate Attorney will: (1) Provide legal, policy, and land use planning support to work towards achieving net zero fossil fuel emissions from federal public lands. (2) Conduct legal research and draft legal memoranda to inform litigation strategies, policy development, and other Conservation Program efforts. (3) Track and monitor docket of cases where TWS is directly engaged or interested in following outcomes. (4) Co-manage TWS law clerk program, including recruitment, onboarding, supervision, project management, feedback, and mentoring. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter by August 8th, 2021.

New York Appellate Division Concludes State Cannot Tax Unstamped Smokes Confiscated During an Illegal Search by Police

Here is the opinion in In the Matter of White v. State of New York Tax Appeals Tribunal (N.Y. A.D.):

530088_pdf

SAIGE National Training Program September 14-16, 2021

Grounded in Tradition, Resilient in Spirit
SAIGE 17th Annual National Training Program
September 14-16, 2021
Hosted on Zoom

register today // PDF flyer here

The Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) is the first national non-profit organization representing American Indian and Alaska Native (Al/AN) Federal, Tribal, State and local government employees.

The 17th Annual National Training Program, open to all, provides professional training sessions related to Federal Indian Law/Indian Country, EEO/HR and Diversity issues, Professional Development, and Cultural and Natural Resource. These sessions are offered on the first two days of the event, September 14-15, while the final day is the Warrior Society program.

visit www.saigetraining.org for more information