Aarin Nygaard v. Tricia Taylor, No. 22-2277 (8th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the District of South Dakota challenging the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court’s exercise of jurisdiction in a custody matter involving his minor daughter, C.S.N. Petitioner claimed that the Tribal Court’s refusal to recognize and enforce North Dakota state court orders awarding him custody of C.S.N. violated the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), 28 U.S.C. Section 1738A. The district court granted summary judgment to the Tribal Court after concluding that the PKPA does not apply to Indian tribes. Petitioner appealed.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed. The court concluded that the PKPA does not apply to Indian tribes. As a result, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court is not obligated under that statute to enforce the North Dakota court orders awarding custody of C.S.N. to Petitioner. The district court properly granted summary judgment to the Tribal Court. The court further explained that its conclusion that the PKPA does not apply to Indian tribes is further supported by the fact that when Congress intends for tribes to be subject to statutory full-faith-and-credit requirements, it expressly says so.
Court Description: [Kelly, Author, with Colloton and Benton, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Indian Law. The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act does not apply to Indian tribes, and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe was not required to enforce a North Dakota court order awarding custody of the couple's child to plaintiff.