Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield
United States Supreme Court
490 U.S. 30 (1989)
J.B. and W.J., an unmarried couple, were enrolled members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (Tribe) (plaintiff). After J.B. became pregnant with twins, J.B. and W.J. left their respective homes on the Choctaw Reservation and traveled over 200 miles to give birth to the children, B.B. and G.B. Subsequently, J.B. and W.J. each signed forms consenting to the adoption of the twins by Orrey and Vivian Holyfield (defendants). The Holyfields filed a petition for adoption, which was granted by a chancery court. The Tribe filed a motion to vacate the adoption decree on the ground that the chancery court lacked the authority and jurisdiction to issue the adoption pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901-1963. The chancery court rejected the Tribe’s motion, holding that the Tribe never obtained exclusive jurisdiction over the children. The Tribe appealed. The Supreme Court of Mississippi affirmed, concluding that J.B. and W.J. had abandoned the children by relinquishing them for adoption and that the domicile of the children was that of the adults who stood in loco parentis to the children, namely the Holyfields. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.