ICWA Notice Case Out of New Jersey


To minimize the delay in securing permanency and stability for Ann, the trial court shall ensure that the notices are sent forthwith. The judgment terminating parental rights shall be deemed affirmed if after being served with the requisite notices under the ICWA: (1) no tribe responds to the notices within the time provided under the ICWA; (2) no tribe determines within the time allotted under the ICWA that Ann is an Indian child as defined by the ICWA; or (3) the court determines, after the tribes have been given an opportunity to intervene, that the ICWA does not to apply to this matter. If Ann is determined to be an Indian child under the ICWA, the judgment terminating parental rights shall be vacated and the trial court shall hold further proceedings consistent with the ICWA. All proceedings shall be conducted as expeditiously as practicable in accordance with the overarching goal of attaining permanency for Ann.

Indian Frauds in Court

A few years ago, I saw a presentation by an FBI agent based out of Bismarck, North Dakota in which he described how many of the survivalist, tax protester-type of virulent anti-government “citizens” had gone way underground after 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act. A couple years later, some of them reappeared as Indians and Indian tribes — the worst kind of Indian fraud imaginable. There have always been, I suspect, people trying to be pretend Indians in an attempt to garner something (money, rights, etc.) they otherwise would not be entitled to. Here, it appears, are whites trying to hide behind tribal sovereign immunity and tribal sovereignty in general.

I wrote about these guys first in 2006 at the For the Seventh Generation blog. And every few months since, another (usually unreported) state or federal court case comes up in which these people are trying to avoid taxes or conviction because of their “Indianness.” I think it’s worthwhile to keep track of these cases.

Here’s the most recent one (I think) — Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems v. Powell, a New Jersey court of appeals case. Here’s the unreported opinion: Opinion

Here’s the relevant language in the opinion (this one tried to avoid paying a debt):

Defendant nevertheless argues that she enjoys “sovereign immunity” both as a member of an Indian tribe because she is “Wanda Lee: Ben El Powell ™©, a Pre-Columbian Indigenous Sovereign Yamassee Muur/Moor,” and as “the secured Private Party, Holder in due Course, by the Commercial Remedy in Law, Filing the UCC1 … [and has] Regained [her] Divine Sovereign Human Rights.”