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Library: Policy

340:75-19-7. Transfer of proceeding to tribal court

Revised 9-15-16

(a) A parent, Indian custodian, or tribe may request transfer of a state court proceeding for foster care placement or termination of parental rights of an Indian child to tribal court.Whenever a parent, Indian custodian, or tribe seeks to transfer the case, it is presumptively in the Indian child's best interest to transfer the case to the Indian tribe's jurisdiction.When a proper request for transfer is made, jurisdiction is transferred by the state court to the tribal court unless:

(1) either parent objects to such transfer;

(2) the court finds good cause to deny transfer of the case; or

(3) the tribal court declines the transfer.  • 1

(b) In determining if good cause exists, recommendations to the court do not include:

(1) whether the case is at an advanced stage;

(2) whether transfer would result in a change in the child's placement;

(3) the Indian child's contacts with the tribe or reservation;

(4) the tribal court's prospective placement for the Indian child; or

(5) the socio-economic conditions and any perceived inadequacy of tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs social services or judicial systems.


Revised 9-16-21

1. When the court authorizes a transfer of the state court case to tribal court, the child welfare (CW) specialist:

(1) requests the state court schedule review hearings to continue in state court until the tribal court accepts the case;

(2) continues to provide services to the child and family until there is official documentation that the case was accepted by the tribal court;

(3) contacts the Indian child welfare (ICW) worker at least once a month until the case is officially transferred to and accepted by the tribal court;

(4) coordinates with the ICW worker to ensure all information needed to provide care for the child that was not available to the tribe previously is given to the ICW worker at the time of transfer;

(5) notifies tribal program staff of the transfer request.  Following official documentation that the case was accepted by the tribal court, Oklahoma Human Services tribal IV-E program staff transfer the case to Tribal Foster Care status in KIDS; and

(6) provides a complete copy of the case file of the Indian child to the tribe after redacting any information not pertaining to the Indian child.

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