In re L.R.J.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the determination of the district court that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) did not apply to this proceeding but declined Mother's request to order her three minor children's immediate return to her, holding that remand was required due to noncompliance issues.
Grandparents filed a petition to establish parenting and custody of three minor children, alleging that a child-parent relationship as defined by Mont. Code Ann. 40-4-211(6), existed between the children and Grandparents and that Parents had engaged in conduct contrary to the parent-child relationship. Parents and Grandparents subsequently signed a stipulated parenting plan designating Grandparents as the sole guardians of the children. Mother later filed a notice that she was withdrawing her consent to the stipulated parenting plan pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 1913(b), part of ICWA, and a motion for immediate return of the children to her custody. The district court denied relief, ruling that ICWA does not apply to internal family disputes. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court failed to follow ICWA's procedural requirements and that remand was required for further proceedings.