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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Leland Morrill on ICWA lawsuits

From Turtle Talk: 

Doe v. Pruitt, Another (Fourth) Federal ICWA Case Filed (N.D. Okla)

My biological father and I meeting for the first time...My biological father and I meeting for the first time...

Turtle Talk Link:

NOTE: "Here is the complaint", click on the COMPLAINT to download the PDF file for the 20-page complaint to read in full.

Doe v. Pruitt, Another (Fourth) Federal ICWA Case Filed (N.D. Okla)

"Doe Pruitt Complaint" Cae 4:15-cv-00471-JED-FHM Document 2 Filed in USDC ND/OK on 8/19/15

This appears to be a lawsuit against the ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978) where the opposition has found two enrolled Cherokee Nation Citizens who are urban and assimilated like the United States has wanted to happen, a biological mother ("Jane Doe" Cherokee) and pre-adoptive father ("Richard Roe" Cherokee) and they are using the Urban Natives to "divide and conquer" the ICWA in Oklahoma using these 18 year old, barely adult biological parents for their agenda and using a newly born infant ("Baby Doe" born July 2015) for this case.

This is a case where they claim it is an voluntary adoption for from the biological parents ( barely 18) to pre-adoptive parents and the Cherokee Nation should not have any say or notice regarding this, one of their citizens. This would bypass the childs biological famnily or any other member of the Cherokee nation or any other indian famnily from adopting this child. Keep in mind the Cherokee Nation is a Sovereign Nation within a nation and should have priority because this infant is born from a citizen of their nation.

Where it gets sticky is this involves both a State in American (Oklahoma) and a Sovereign Nation, Cherokee Nation. In 1994 Oklahoma Legislature expanded their Oklahoma ICWA:

"B. Except as provided for in subsection A of this section, the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act applies to all state voluntary and involuntary child custody court proceedings involving Indian children, regardless of whether or not the children involved are in the physical or legal custody of an Indian parent or Indian custodian at the time state proceedings are initiated." (10 Okla. Stat. §40.3)

In all Indian child custody proceedings of the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act, including voluntary court proceedings and review hearings, the court shall ensure that the district attorney or other person initiating the proceeding shall send notice to the parents or to the Indian custodians, if any, and to the tribe that is or may be the tribe of the Indian child, and to the appropriate Bureau of Indian Affairs area office, by certified mail… (10 Okla. Stat. §40.4)


27. The 1994 amendments to OICWA also amended §40.6 which now states:

The placement preferences specified in 25 U.S.C. Section 1915, shall apply to all preadjudicatory placements, as well as preadoptive, adoptive and foster care placements. In all placements of an Indian child by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS), or b) any person or other placement agency, DHS, the person or placement agency shall utilize to the maximum extent possible the services of the Indian tribe of the child in securing placement consistent with the provisions of the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act. This requirement shall include cases where a consenting parent evidences a desire for anonymity in the consent document executed pursuant to Section 60.5 of this title.2 If a request for anonymity is included in a parental consent document, the court shall give weight to such desire in applying the preferences only after notice is given to the child's tribe and the tribe is afforded twenty (20) days to intervene and request a hearing on available tribal placement resources which may protect parental confidentiality,  provided that notice of such hearing shall be given to the consenting parent. 

So Jane and John Doe (annonymous biological parents where Jane Doe is a CITIZEN of the CHEROKEE NATION and a "resident" of the US State OKLAHOMA) their infant born July 2015 is still covered under the Oklahoma ICWA Law for PUBLIC and PRIVATE ADOPTIONS of NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN.

I think this case is interesting because we know in the Baby Veronica Case the attorneys "misrepresented" the spelling of Dusten Brown's name even though Christy Maldanado (Baby Veronica/RONNIE BROWN's hispanic bio-mother) knew Dusten Brown for several years and would know how to spell his name but also because it states on page 8:

"Jane Doe did not learn that she was a member of the Cherokee Nation until approximately May 20, 2015 when she discussed the matter with her estranged Father"

The above wording: "estranged Father" and "did not learn that she was a member of the Cherokee Nation until approximately May 20, 2015" seem suspect in this "complaint".

I also find it interesting that at 18 years of age (page 10) "Jane and John Doe are well aware of their rights under ICWA and OICWA. However, they believe they are making the best decision about Baby Doe's care, custody, control, and future upbringing and they do not want the Cherokee Nation to interfere with the plans they have carefully made"

I also find it suspect this 18 year old couple was coached into (page 11) "42.  As Indian parents, Jane and John Doe are aware of their right to revoke their consent at any time until the adoption is final. If the tribe attempts to interfere with their private placement adoption, and it becomes apparent that Richard and Mary Roe will not be permitted to adopt Baby Doe, Jane and John Doe will revoke the consents already given and will not give consent to anyone else for Baby Doe's adoption."

It goes on and on and on...please read the case number. If you followed the Baby Veronica Case you will understand how the wording of this "complaint" could be suspect/coaching of the 18-year-old non-married couple.

These cases are hard to read and you might have to read several times to understand ( I do at least ) and then you can form your own opinion.

PLEASE SHARE the case widely.


Also coming up I will be writing about meeting my biological father on August 4th who looked for me for 46 years after he came back from the Vietnam War to find his family was gone...Can any of you parents image, especially Vets who have been to war and seen families killed, murdered, caught in crossfire, again imagine coming back from war  like from Iraq or Afganistan and finding your children are gone and the mother of your child dead...and you are suffering from PTSD and everything else that comes with serving in wartime.... ??

...that story will be coming up as soon as I can write it effectively...



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