Michigan COA Decision on In re Morris

The Michigan Court of Appeals heard the ICWA notice case that the Michigan Supreme Court originally remanded back to Wayne County for notice. That case, In re Morris, details what is required of Michigan courts when notifying tribes of a potential ICWA case.

The decision is here. There is finally extensive detail on what DHS did or did not put in the notice to the three Cherokee tribes, something the Supreme Court demanded in Michigan ICWA cases.

Since respondent could not obtain any additional information regarding his relatives, it would be unreasonable to expect petitioner to find it. Imposing this burden on petitioner would also encourage parents, who can best research their own ancestry, to delay the proceedings by providing limited information. Because it would often take a long time to uncover ancestry details, a requirement that ICWA tribal notices include every detail of a child’s ancestry    would    undermine    ICWA ’ s    10-day    provision,    which    prevents    unreasonable    delays.    It would also jeopardize concepts of permanency and finality. The trial court did not err by finding that there was compliance with the ICWA’s notification requirements.

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