Oregon COA Reverses State Criminal Conviction of Nez Percé Treaty Fishers

Here are the materials in State v. McCormack (Or. Ct. App.):

University of Washington digital collection

Oregon COA Affirms Validity of State Board of Education Rule on Indian Mascot in Schools

Here is the opinion in Walter v. Oregon Board of Education:


Determination of Application of ICWA from Oregon Court of Appeals

We are getting a lot of questions about when the standards of ICWA apply if a child or parent is enrolled after the initiation of the child welfare case. Here’s a not particularly helpful or clear decision out of the Oregon Court of Appeals:

Parents’ position depends on a selective understanding of the record before the juvenile court. Specifically, as noted, testimony at the August 22, 2014, hearing established that the “Karuk Tribe” notation for mother in DHS’s database had been entered, as a preliminary matter, in 2004, but that, in response to subsequent, contemporaneous inquiries from DHS, the tribe had explicitly denied that mother or her children met the requirements for tribal membership. See 278 Or App at 431-32. That negative response—a response within DHS’s constructive knowledge in 2011—negated the 2004 preliminary notation. Further, the record established that, while that notation automatically “popped up,” there was no evidence that it had ever been renewed or supplemented based on any subsequent information. Similarly, parents’ reliance on mother’s reference to having a tribal membership card does not engage with the complete context that, at the same time mother made that remark in February 2011, she was adamantly refusing to complete ICWA-related forms provided by DHS. Indeed, mother did not obtain a tribal membership card until May 2012—and, even then, did not so inform DHS.15 Given the totality of the circumstances, the juvenile court did not err in denying parents’ motions to dismiss. See State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. Tucker, 76 Or App 673, 677, 10 P2d 793 (1985), rev den, 300 Or 605 (1986) (affirming juvenile court’s denial of petition to “invalidate” foster care placement based on purported ICWA noncompliance; record did not establish that, as of the time the child was placed, ICWA applied, and subsequent determination that the child was an Indian child did not render ICWA retroactively applicable to prior actions of the juvenile court).

Oregon Court of Appeals Decision and Dissent on whether Indian status is an issue of subject matter jurisdiction

The majority and dissent opinions address when the argument as to Indian status must be raised in a state prosecution. State v. Hill

Briefs here:

Appellant Brief

State Brief

Oregon Court of Appeals Applies ICWA to Guardianships

But does not require contemporaneous active efforts when ordering one.

Here is the opinion.

Given our conclusion that the guardianship was a “foster care placement”  under ICWA, we now consider whether the juvenile court was required under ICWA to make an “active efforts” finding at the proceeding in which that guardianship was  established. Mother argues that, because the guardianship is a foster care placement, the  juvenile court was required to include an active efforts finding in the guardianship  judgment. Although we disagree with DHS’s argument that the guardianship was not a  “foster care placement,” we conclude nonetheless that DHS satisfied ICWA’s “active  efforts” requirement at the 2011 permanency hearing. Therefore, the juvenile court was  not required to make an “active efforts” finding in the guardianship judgment.

Oregon COA Affirms Governor’s Authority to Enter into Indian Gaming Compacts

Here are the materials in Dewberry v. Kitzhaber (Or. App.):

Oregon COA Opinion

Appellants Opening Brief

Respondents Joint Answer Brief

Tribal Amicus Brief

Appellants Reply Brief

An excerpt:

In summary, the Oregon legislature authorized the Governor to enter into agreements with tribes to ensure that the state does not infringe on tribal rights under federal laws, such as IGRA. The trial court correctly concluded that the Governor acted lawfully under ORS 190.110 in negotiating and entering into the tribal-state compact with the Tribes.

Oregon Court of Appeals Rejects Siletz Challenge to State Ceremonial Hunting Rule re: Grand Ronde

Here is the opinion in Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon v. Ore. Fish and Wildlife Commission.

An excerpt:

Pursuant to ORS 183.400, petitioner Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon challenges OAR 635–043–0120, a rule promulgated by the Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) authorizing the issuance of ceremonial hunting permits for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon (Grand Ronde Tribes or “the tribe”) and establishing requirements for the use of those permits. Petitioner contends that the rule is invalid because it exceeds FWC’s statutory authority and because its adoption violates “separation of powers provisions of the Oregon Constitution.” We reject without discussion petitioner’s constitutional challenge to the rule and write only to discuss its assertion that the rule exceeds the statutory authority of the agency. Based on our review of OAR 635–043–0120 and the pertinent statutes, we conclude that the rule is valid.

If anyone has briefs, would love to post them.

Oregon DHS v. Three Affiliated tribes (MHA Nation): ICWA Case in Oregon Court of Appeals


An excerpt:

The Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold Reservation (the tribes) appeal a judgment in which the trial court concluded that “good cause” under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) existed to designate the adoptive placement for two Indian children as the home of their current foster parents rather than the home designated by the tribes. On appeal, the legal issue is whether “good cause” exists to depart from ICWA’s placement preferences. 25 USC § 1915(a). As we will explain, we are bound by the trial court’s findings of fact if there is any evidence in the record to support them, but independently assess whether those findings are sufficient to support the trial court’s legal conclusion that “good cause” exists under the circumstances of this case. Applying that standard, we affirm