Nooksack Tribe Seeks Prosecutor and ICW Presenting Officer

RFP – Request for Prosecution and Indian Child Welfare Case Services


The Nooksack Indian Tribe is requesting qualified attorneys and law firms to submit statements in response to this Request For Proposals.  The legal services include attendance and preparation for hearings to represent the Nooksack Indian Tribe as prosecutor before Nooksack Indian Tribe Tribal Court on crimes as set forth in the Nooksack Criminal Code, as well as any state or federal proceedings which fall within the Prosecutor’s responsibilities.   Hearings that include Prosecutor duties normally occur on Wednesdays, and require availability via phone other days.

In addition, the legal services would include representing the Nooksack Indian Tribe as Child Welfare Attorney on Indian Child Welfare proceedings in both the Nooksack Indian Tribe Tribal Court and such Washington State Courts as applicable under the Nooksack Youth Code. Hearings that include Child Welfare Attorney duties normally occur on the Whatcom County Dependency docket, and require availability via phone other days.

Responses to the subject RFP should be directed to the Office of the Tribal Attorney, mailed to P.O. Box 63, or hand delivered to 5047 Mt. Baker Highway, #200, Deming, Washington 98244.  The Nooksack Indian Tribe will conduct its first review of proposals that are delivered to, or postmarked by Monday, January 25, 2016.

Persons interested in receiving a digital copy of the RFP must contact Ms. Sue Gearhart, Office of Tribal Attorney, Nooksack Indian Tribe at

Nooksack Tribe Seeks Senior In-House Counsel

The Nooksack Indian Tribe located in beautiful Deming, WA is seeking an experienced federal Indian law practitioner to serve as the in-house Senior Tribal Attorney responsible for the provision of legal services and representation to the Nooksack Tribal Government and its entities. This full-time position oversees the Office of Tribal Attorney, under the direction of the Nooksack Tribal Council. To apply, submit a completed application (available at, cover letter, resume, three (3) written references, and a writing sample. Salary DOE

Active Efforts Case Out of Washington Court of Appeals


Despite Louch’s argument that visitation is a remedial service under ICWA, that term is not defined in the federal or state version of ICWA. Louch cites no state or federal case holding that visitation itself is a remedial service for purposes of ICWA. Visitation as part of a parenting class or other therapy might be part of a remedial service, but consistent with T.H., visitation in and of itself is not “remedial.”
Finally, even assuming visitation is a remedial service, “ICWA does not require the State to continue making active efforts to remedy parental deficiencies at the expense of physical or emotional damage to the child.”43 Numerous courts have held that active efforts under the federal ICWA does not mean persisting with futile efforts.44


He also claims that, due to his severe mistrust of the child welfare system, the Department was required to “determine a different approach” to working with him in order to engage him in services.48 But services were coordinated through the Nooksack Indian Tribe, and Louch cites no authority supporting his argument that the Department did not engage in active efforts by failing to provide access to the specific cultural activities referenced above.4

According to the opinion, the child in this case was placed with an American Indian family who are also taking care of her two other siblings.

Nooksack COA Issues Opinion in Lomeli v. Kelly Contempt Appeal


Lomeli v Kelly COA Opening Brief re Contempt of Court

Lomeli v Kelly COA Contempt Response Brief of Appellees

Lomeli v Kelly COA Contempt Reply Brief re Contempt of Court

Lomeli v Kelly COA Opinion re Contempt

Lower court order here.

Nooksack Tribal Dismisses Adams v. Kelly II


Adams v Kelly II Plaintiffs’ Amended Response in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss

Adams v Kelly II Amended Response in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss

Adams v Kelly II Defendants’ Reply to Plaintiffs’ Response in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Adams v Kelly II Order Granting Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss

Opening Appellate Brief in Lomeli v. Kelly — Contempt Matter in Nooksack Disenrollment Dispute


Lomeli v Kelly COA Opening Brief re Contempt of Court

Lower court order here.

Year-End News Coverage of Nooksack Disenrollments Controversy


An excerpt:

The 306 people fighting to stay on the Nooksack Indian Tribe’s membership rolls won a rare legal victory recently when Tribal Court Chief Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis ruled that tribal leaders had violated their rights by denying them $250-per-person Christmas checks that were mailed to everyone else in the 2,000-member tribe.

But the ruling didn’t put any extra presents under anyone’s tree. While Montoya-Lewis ruled that it was illegal to deny the 306 the same treatment as other tribe members before their legal status is determined, she also decided that she had no legal authority to order Chairman Bob Kelly and his supporters on the tribal council to issue checks to anyone.

The episode was one more example of the difficulties that the 306 have faced during the past year, as they try to get courts to block the move to strip them of tribal membership under a process known as disenrollment.