Friday, February 22, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 20

Summary of Decision February 20, 2013

Justice Burke delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.


Docket Number: S-12-0155


Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County, the Honorable Michael Davis, Judge

Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant): John M. Burman, Director, and Christopher Sherwood, Student Intern, University of Wyoming, College of Law Legal Services Program. Argument by Mr. Sherwood.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Aaron J. Lyttle, Long, Reimer, Winegar, Beppler, LLP, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Lyttle.

Date of Decision: February 20, 2013

Facts: Appellant, KC, (“Mother”), challenges the district court’s decision to appoint CC and his wife, EC, (“Grandparents”), as permanent guardians for Mother’s daughter, LNP. Mother contends the guardianship proceedings were subject to the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and that the district court violated the provisions of the Act in establishing a plenary guardianship. Mother also contends the district court erred in concluding, under the ICWA, that returning LNP to Mother would likely result in serious emotional or physical damage.

Issues: Mother presents the following issues:

1. Whether the district court failed to comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act’s ten day notice requirement.

2. Whether the district court received testimony from a “qualified expert witness” as required by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

3. Whether the district court received clear and convincing evidence that shows LNP’s return to the Appellant would likely result in serious emotional or physical damage as required by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Grandparents state the issues in a substantially similar manner.

Holdings: Based upon the facts discussed in the full opinion, the Court did not find reversible error. Affirmed.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

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