In re R.I.

402 N.W.2d 173 (1987)

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In re R.I.

Minnesota Court of Appeals
402 N.W.2d 173 (1987)

Facts

A mother (defendant), a father, and their two children, R.I. and M.I. Jr., lived on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. The father, R.I., and M.I. Jr. were members of the Warm Springs Tribe. The mother and father divorced by order of the Warm Springs Tribe, which granted custody to the mother. Shortly afterwards, the mother moved to Minnesota, leaving R.I and M.I. Jr. with the father on the Warm Springs Reservation. One night, the father went carousing and left R.I. and M.I. Jr. home alone. The Warm Springs Reservation prosecutor filed a neglect petition in the Warm Springs Reservation tribal court, which made R.I. and M.I. Jr. wards of the court. More than one year later, the mother returned to the Warm Springs Reservation and took R.I. and M.I. Jr. with her to Minnesota. A social worker visited the home of the mother, R.I., and M.I. Jr. one day and found that the mother was inebriated. Cass County Social Services and Leech Lake Family Services took custody of R.I. and M.I. Jr., and Cass County (plaintiff) filed a dependency action in Minnesota state court. Acting under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the Warm Springs Tribe moved to intervene, dismiss the state-court action, and transfer jurisdiction to the tribal court. The mother then took R.I. and M.I. Jr. to the Warm Springs Reservation, where she abandoned them. The Warm Springs Tribal Court placed R.I. and M.I. Jr. in the temporary custody of a family member. The Warm Springs Tribal Court then asserted that it had exclusive jurisdiction over R.I. and M.I. Jr. and moved the Minnesota state court to transfer jurisdiction. The mother objected to the transfer of jurisdiction. The Minnesota state court granted the transfer motion, finding that the mother implicitly consented to the transfer when she abandoned R.I. and M.I. Jr. on the Warm Springs Reservation. The mother appealed, arguing that because she objected to the transfer, the Minnesota state court should not have granted the transfer motion.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Forsberg, J.)

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