As part of the lawsuit, the state had to turn over rarely seen transcripts of 120 recent court hearings. In every one, the Native American children were taken into state custody.A case under the federal Indian custody recently went to the US Supreme Court, with a bad outcome.
Not a single parent was allowed to testify at the hearings. Most were not allowed to say anything except their names.
"These were virtually kangaroo courts," Pevar says. "There was nothing, nothing that any of the parents did or could have done. It was a predetermined outcome in every one of these cases."
In one case cited in the lawsuit, children were taken away from a mother who the state said was neglectful. Their father, who was divorcing the mother, appeared at the hearing and said, "I am here. Please give custody of my children to me." The judge placed the kids in foster care.
In another example, a mother returned home from work to find her children had been taken away when her babysitter got drunk. She went to the hearing to explain she was the mother. Her children were also placed in foster care.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Feds defend Indians against CPS
NPR radio reports: