Active Efforts and Transfer to Tribal Court Case out of Maine [ICWA]


This is a difficult case, but the opinion does a nice job of outlining how a state and Tribe can work together in a state court ICWA case to provide active efforts when reunification with the father would be essentially impossible (based on the facts provided). The Court also correctly identifies legal standards involved with the father’s attempt to transfer the case to tribal court.

Maine Supreme Court Decides ICWA Case

Here is the opinion in In re Trever I. An excerpt:

The father of Trever I. appeals from a judgment of the District Court (Lewiston, Beliveau, J.) terminating his parental rights. The father argues that the court (1) erred when it terminated his parental rights following the Department of Health and Human Services’s (Department) alleged failure to sufficiently investigate the father’s claim of Indian heritage and the applicability of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), 25 U.S . C.S. §§ 1901-1963 (2004), and (2) abused its discretion when it denied his motion to continue the termination hearing. We affirm the judgment.

Maine SCT Requires Seneca Tobacco Wholesaler to Acquire Maine License

The Maine Supreme Court ruled that Seneca Nation of Indians members doing business in Maine must acquire a state license to sell tobacco. Here is the opinion in Dept. of Health and Human Services v. Maybee. An excerpt:

Scott B. Maybee appeals from an order entered in the Superior Court (Kennebec County, Marden, J.) denying his motion for summary judgment and granting a summary judgment in favor of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department brought a civil enforcement action pursuant to 22 M.R.S. § 1555-C(8 ) (2008 ) because Maybee failed to obtain a retail tobacco vendor license in violation of 22 M.R.S. § 1555-C(1) (2008 ). Maybee contends that because he conducts his tobacco delivery business from a location within the boundaries of an Indian reservation in New York State, the courts of Maine do not have subject matter jurisdiction, and the Maine vendor license requirement is preempted by federal law. Because subject matter jurisdiction exists and the Maine statute is not preempted, we affirm.

Francis v. Dana-Cummings V in the Maine Supreme Court

At least I think it’s V. Regardless the Maine Supreme Court has returned again to the meaning of “internal tribal matters” in this case, which is a housing eviction case on the Passamaquoddy reservation. Here, the court holds that Maine state law is inapplicable to the challenge made by Francis to the eviction.

Here is the opinion.