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Library: Policy

340:75-19-5. Tribal and state court jurisdiction

Revised 9-15-16

     Tribal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over any child custody proceeding involving an Indian child who resides within the reservation of such tribe.The tribal court shares concurrent jurisdiction with the state court in state court proceedings for foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child not residing within the reservation of the Indian child's tribe.The tribe, either parent, or an Indian custodian may request transfer of state court proceedings to tribal court.  • 1


      Revised 9-15-16


1.(a) Process for transfer from state court to tribal court.Request to transfer proceeding to tribal court may be made at any stage of the proceeding.When a request is made to transfer the state court case to tribal court, the child welfare (CW) specialist:

(1) staffs the case with the CW supervisor; and

(2) when an objection is anticipated, consults with the district attorney to determine if good cause exists to recommend that the request to transfer the state court case to tribal court be denied.

(b) Good cause determination.The court may not consider:

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

(2) whether the 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 or any perceived inadequacy of tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs social services or judicial systems.

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