After winning a partial summary judgment (twice, if you count the motions for reconsideration), the plaintiffs in the federal class action ICWA/Due Process lawsuit have filed their brief requesting remedies.
The four Defendants in this action are largely ignoring this Court’s summary judgment ruling of March 30, 2015, Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Van Hunnik, 100 F. Supp. 3d 749 (D.S.D. 2015) (hereinafter “Oglala II”),1 in which the Court found that the Defen-dants were violating seven of Plaintiffs’ federal rights. Today, more than a year later, the Defendants continue to commit six of those violations, and only partially halted the seventh. As a result, more than one hundred additional Indian families have suffered the injuries Oglala II intended to prevent, and new families fall victim every week.
Mr. Hanna had previously written Judge Robert Mandel, the Seventh Judicial Circuit judge who heard most of the 48-hour hearings in 2015, to see if he would convene a meeting with Mr. Hanna and representatives from the States Attorney’s Office and Dakota Plains Legal Services to discuss how this Court’s summary judgment ruling could be implemented in the Seventh Circuit’s 48-hour hearings. Judge Mandel declined, and attached to his response a telling article entitled: “Federal law in the state courts: The freedom of state courts to ignore interpretations of federal law by lower federal courts.” (This correspondence and the article are attached as Plaintiffs’ Exhibit 2R). To Plaintiffs’ knowledge, in not one 48-hour hearing in 2015 did Judge Mandel incorporate the procedural protections this Court held in Oglala II are required by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.