A blog about legal issues affecting Indian County, Indian tribe, and tribal gaming.
Swimmer Law Offices strives to achieve results that exceed expectations through our commitment to clients. We provide tools for individuals, businesses, and tribes throughout the United States to significantly increase their performance capability in order to achieve worthwhile purposes through principle-centered legal advice and representation.
Scott Walker is signing the automobile insurance bill today. According to a story by Jason Stein of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The bill roll back coverage minimums passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature in 2009 but would still require motorist to have insurance coverage." In a move designed to protect the middle class, by lowering the minimums to levels set in the 1980s, which are insufficient since most new cars cost more than $30,000. Presently drivers needed carry $50k for the death or injury of a person, $100k per accident. Under the old law and now the repealed provisions , drivers only need to carry minimum liability of $25,000 for the injury or death of a person; $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person; and $10,000 for property damage. The Republican also eliminated stacking that allowed you use coverage of more than one vehicle to help pay the cost from an accident involving just one vehicle.
Contact your insurance agent and ask for the same insurance you had before the change, and in particular ask to include the stacking provision if you have more than one car insured.
Today the United States Court of Appeals 10th Circuit issued a decision in the Brittany Jane Little Dove v. Sunny Ketchum et al. case on appeal from the United States District Court of the District of Utah (D.C.NO. 2:08-CV-00490-TS). This is an Indian Child Welfare Act act case interpreting the ten day waiting period before a parent can consent to the termination of their parental rights over an Indian child. The facts of the case are that the mother appeared in state court in Utah to relinquish her parental rights and consent the adoption of her son. The court approved the adoption without applying the 10 day safeguard ignoring the fact that the mother and child were both eligible for membership and the child was a direct descendant. The Cherokee Nation had passed a law establishing automatic temporary Cherokee citizenship for any newborn who is a direct descendent of a Cherokee listed on the Dawes Commission roles. The mother changed her mind and sought to invalidate the adoption based on the violation of the ICWA safeguard. The District Court agreed that the act passed by the Cherokee Nation established tribal citizenship for the child, and that the ICWA 10 day safeguard invalidated the mother's relinquishment. The Court of Appeals, however, reversed on grounds that the child was not a member of the Cherokee Nation for ICWA purposes at the time of the adoption. The Court of Appeals held Congress did not intend ICWA to authorize this sort of gang position on the part of the tribe – e.g. to authorize a temporary and non-jurisdictional citizenship upon a non-consenting party in order to invoke ICWA protections. Therefore the Court concluded that the child did not fit within the definition of a member of an Indian tribe and did not recognize the Cherokee Nation's temporary membership provided in its citizen act.
Here the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals went too far. Membership can only be decided by the tribe. For the court to venture so far to establish tribal membership and strike down the temporary Cherokee Citizenship Act, which was drafted to affect the full intent of ICWA. This is a poorly decided decision and one that has implications for tribes throughout the nation.