Tribal authority, state in dispute over child custody case

Parents claim that their child was snatched from them due to false allegations of abuse. A state senator has spoken out, asserting that the tribe overstepped its legal bounds. Unfortunately, a newborn child and two others are caught in the crossfire. This child custody battle, recently covered in the news, may parallel similar cases in California. 

The mother of the children is a member of the Native American tribe, as is the children's grandmother. The grandmother currently has custody of the child. The parents say that the child was taken from them in the hospital just two days after the birth. The parents also claim that the grandmother made false accusations of abuse in order to gain custody of the woman's three children, simply because the father was white. 

The grandmother maintains that the claims of abuse are true. The custody order was granted to the grandmother by the tribal council. When authorities came to retrieve the child, they believed that a federal court order was in place, but there was none. Now, Senator Marco Rubio has stepped in, saying the council has no authority outside of the reservation and that the children must be returned. 

This particular child custody case has escalated up to the highest levels of law enforcement. The family is struggling to regain custody of the children, and an emergency custody hearing has been called by the council. Families in California may also face similar disputes over supposed false allegations of abuse. An experienced lawyer can help a family petition for custody that is in the best interests of the child. 

Source:, "Child custody case erupts in dispute between state and Native American tribe", March 22, 2018

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