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Library: Policy

340:75-19-11. Notice of Indian child custody proceedings

Revised 9-15-16

(a) Statutory notice of Indian child custody proceeding.The Federal and Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act address procedures for notice to Indian tribes of voluntary and involuntary child custody proceedings, including review hearings, involving Indian children.The Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act per Section 40.4 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes (10 O.S. § 40.4) requires the state court to ensure the initiating party, usually the district attorney, sends notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the:

(1) Indian child's parents;

(2) Indian custodians;

(3) child's tribe; and

(4) the appropriate Bureau of Indian Affairs office.  • 1 & 2

(b) Notice requirements.Per 10 O.S. § 40.4, the notice of the Indian child custody proceeding is written in clear and understandable language and includes:

(1) name, date of birth, birthplace, and tribal affiliation of the Indian child;

(2) a copy of the petition;

(3) name of petitioner and name and address of petitioner's attorney;

(4) a statement of the rights of the parents or Indian custodian, and the Indian tribe to:

(A) intervene in the proceeding;

(B) petition the court to transfer the proceeding to the tribal court;

(C) request an extension of time, up to 20 additional calendar days, to prepare for the proceeding;

(5) a statement of the potential legal consequences of the proceedings on the future custodial rights of the parents or Indian custodians;

(6) a statement that counsel will be appointed for the parent or custodian when unable to afford counsel;

(7) mailing addresses and phone numbers of the court, information related to all parties to the proceeding, and individuals notified; and

(8) a statement that tribal officials must keep information contained in the notice confidential.

(c) Under the Federal Act, a proceeding for foster care placement or termination of parental rights is not held until 10-calendar days after receipt of notice by the parent or Indian custodian and the tribe.

(d) Invalidation of action upon showing of certain violations.  • 2Per 25 U.S.C. § 1914, motions to invalidate state court actions based on violations of the provisions of 25 U.S.C. §§ 1911, 1912, and 1913 may be filed by:

(1) the Indian child who is the subject of any action for foster care placement or termination of parental rights under Oklahoma law;

(2) any parent or Indian custodian from whose custody the child was removed; and

(3) the child's tribe.


Revised 9-15-16

1.Information for notice requirement.The child welfare (CW) specialist provides all known information regarding the biological parent or Indian custodian's whereabouts and the child's tribe to the district attorney and court.

2.Notice proceedings begin when Indian status is discovered.When the child's Indian status is not determined until after state court proceedings have commenced, the notice provisions are complied with from the time the court determines the Indian Child Welfare Act applies.The CW specialist:

(1) initiates contact with the Indian child welfare program to involve the child's tribe in the case; and

(2) provides the information to the district attorney.

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