In re A.B.

663 N.W.2d 625 (2003)

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In re A.B.

North Dakota Supreme Court
663 N.W.2d 625 (2003)

Facts

A.B., an Indian child, was born in 1993. In March 2001, Cass County Social Services (the county) (plaintiff) filed a petition in state juvenile court to place A.B. in foster care. Because A.B. was an Indian child, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) applied. In June 2002, the county filed a petition to terminate parental rights (TPR). In July 2002, seven weeks after the TPR petition was filed and two weeks before trial, the Turtle Mountain Tribe (tribe) (defendant), acting under ICWA, moved to transfer jurisdiction to tribal court. A juvenile court referee denied the transfer motion, finding that litigation had reached an advanced stage and that the tribe should have filed its transfer motion in March 2001 when foster-care proceedings began. The tribe sought review in juvenile court. The juvenile court reversed, holding that because the tribe filed its transfer motion within seven weeks of the filing of the TPR petition, the tribe’s transfer motion was timely. The juvenile court granted the transfer motion and dismissed the TPR petition. The county appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Vande Walle, C.J.)

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