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Family Law Keyed to Wadlington
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield
Citation:490 U.S. 30
The ICWA establishes exclusive jurisdiction in the tribal courts for proceedings concerning an Indian child “who resides or is domiciled within the reservation of such tribe.” Twin babies were born out of wedlock and their mother and father were both enrolled members of the Tribe and residents of the Choctaw Reservation in Mississippi. The mother gave birth to the twins 200 miles from the reservation. The chancellor of the Chancery Court of Harrison County issued a final decree of adoption that contained no reference to the ICWA or the infants’ Indian background. The Tribe then moved in the Chancery Court to vacate the adoption decree on the ground that under the ICWA, exclusive jurisdiction was vested in the tribal court.
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