Arizona Court of Appeals on Notice [ICWA]

1 CA-SA 22-0076 Tohono v. Hon Fridlund SQ – Opinion

Under Arizona law, tribes shall receive notice in voluntary proceedings:

Arizona Revised Statutes § 8-535(A) provides that after a petition for termination of the parent-child relationship has been filed, “notice of the initial hearing and a copy of the petition shall be given to . . . the tribe of any Indian child as defined by [ICWA].” The statute does not limit the notice requirement to involuntary proceedings.


Because neither A.R.S. § 8-535 nor the Arizona Rules of Juvenile Procedure limit an Indian tribe’s right to notice or intervention solely to involuntary parental terminations, those tribal rights extend to voluntary termination proceedings. Since the Nation was not provided notice of the initial termination proceeding, nor was it allowed to intervene, we vacate the parental termination order, grant the Nation’s motion to intervene, and remand to the superior court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion


Thank you to everyone who sent this to me within approximately 20 minutes of it being released.

Standing Rock Children’s Code RFP


The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (Tribe) is now accepting Proposals from qualified individuals, organizations or firms for the development of a Children’s Code for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Code of Justice.  The Tribe currently has a Children’s Code but the current version is in need of revision to reflect changes in the law and current practices.

The successful Proposal should reflect experience working with Tribes and Tribal Courts. Experience in Code drafting and development, knowledge of the issues facing Children’s Courts, knowledge of the law as it pertains to Abuse and Neglect proceedings, Delinquency, Status offenses, Indian Child Welfare proceedings, Custody, Termination and Adoptions issues/ proceedings and Title IVE requirements.   The Tribe also seeks to implement traditions and customs where applicable or necessary.

Requested Information: A) Cover Letter B) Outline of Experience working with: (1) Abuse & Neglect cases; and, (2) Title IV(e). C) Two (2) years minimum experience in each case type is recommended but not required. D) Whether the Bidder is Tribal or Indian Owned. Copies of tribal identification cards must be included to support the statement. Indian owned is defined as any business that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by an individual who is an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe; E) detailed breakdown of cost(s) of preparation; and, F) References.

Deadline for submission is January 19, 2018 at 4:00pm CST.  The Tribe reserves the right to select, any bid or no bid. Proposals should be submitted in PDF format via email to: Sealed proposals will be received in person at SRST Tribal Court, c/o Melvin White Eagle Building, 101 Agency Avenue, Fort Yates, ND 58538 or mailed to SRST Court, P.O. Box 363 Fort Yates, ND 58538, Attn. D. Agard, Court Administrator.

New Short Film on Maine Truth and Reconciliation Commission


Lots of good information here.

Press coverage here.

The longer movie is due out in 2017, but it’s very nice to have this short film and supporting website available now as an antidote to all of the Goldwater blitz.

Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities Public Meeting


Arizona Public Meeting

March 25 – 26

Meeting Times:

  • Wednesday, March 25: 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. MST
  • Thursday, March 26: 8:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. MST

**Please note that Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time.**

Meeting Agenda: CECANF was established to develop a national strategy and recommendations for reducing fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect. The purpose of the March 25-26 meeting is for Commission members to explore key issues related to addressing and preventing child abuse and neglect fatalities in Indian Country. It will include presentations and discussions related to issues of jurisdiction, data collection and data sharing, and the quality and quantity of services. Speakers will include Tribal leaders, Federal agency representatives, and practitioners. Commission members will then continue discussing the work plans of the Commission subcommittees, the information that they have obtained to date, and emerging high-level recommendations.

Attendance: Individuals interested in attending the meeting in person or via webinar and teleconference must register in advance (see link below). The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Members of the public will not have the opportunity to ask questions or otherwise participate in the meeting, either on the phone or in person. Comments or testimony can be submitted online.

Press Release on “Spirit Lake Child Welfare Improvement Project”

Here is “Tribal, National, and State Leaders Convene to Develop Strategy for Improving Spirit Lake Child Protection — Director of Bureau of Indian Affairs, representatives from North Dakota’s elected leaders, and others join Spirit Lake Chairman in new initiative to improve child welfare services.”

Alaska AG Withdraws 2004 AG Opinion on Tribal Court Jurisdiction that Conflicted with Alaska SCT Precedent

Here is the letter withdrawing “Jurisdiction of State and Tribal Courts in Child Protection Matters,” 2004 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 1:


The 2004 opinion is here (PDF).

The relevant Alaska precedent — State v. Native Village of Tanana, 249 P.3d 734 — is here:

State v. Native Village of Tanana