In re Brandon M.

63 Cal. Rptr. 2d 671 (1997)

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In re Brandon M.

California District Court of Appeal
63 Cal. Rptr. 2d 671 (1997)

Facts

A mother (defendant) had a son, Brandon M., who was entitled to protections under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The mother’s former partner, Roger H. (plaintiff) was Brandon’s stepfather before Roger’s relationship with the mother ended, and Brandon considered Roger to be his father. Brandon was removed from the mother’s custody. Roger sought custody of Brandon and status as Brandon’s de facto parent under California’s de facto parent doctrine. Brandon’s tribe endorsed Roger’s motion, explaining that because Brandon considered Roger to be his father, the tribe did as well, in accordance with the tribe’s traditions. The trial court found that Roger was Brandon’s de facto parent under California’s de facto parent doctrine. The mother appealed, arguing that under the Supremacy Clause, ICWA preempted California’s de facto parent doctrine.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Haerle, J.)

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