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e-CFR data is current as of September 24, 2020

Title 25Chapter ISubchapter DPart 23 → Subpart B


Title 25: Indians
PART 23—INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT


Subpart B—Notice of Involuntary Child Custody Proceedings and Payment for Appointed Counsel in State Courts


Contents
§23.11   Notice.
§23.12   Designated tribal agent for service of notice.
§23.13   Payment for appointed counsel in involuntary Indian child custody proceedings in state courts.

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§23.11   Notice.

(a) In any involuntary proceeding in a State court where the court knows or has reason to know that an Indian child is involved, and where the identity and location of the child's parent or Indian custodian or Tribe is known, the party seeking the foster-care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child must directly notify the parents, the Indian custodians, and the child's Tribe by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested, of the pending child-custody proceedings and their right of intervention. Notice must include the requisite information identified in §23.111, consistent with the confidentiality requirement in §23.111(d)(6)(ix). Copies of these notices must be sent to the appropriate Regional Director listed in paragraphs (b)(1) through (12) of this section by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested or by personal delivery and must include the information required by §23.111.

(b)(1) For child-custody proceedings in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, or any territory or possession of the United States, notices must be sent to the following address: Eastern Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 545 Marriott Drive, Suite 700, Nashville, Tennessee 37214.

(2) For child-custody proceedings in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, or Wisconsin, notices must be sent to the following address: Minneapolis Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 5600 American Blvd. W, Ste. 500, Bloomington, MN 55437.

(3) For child-custody proceedings in Nebraska, North Dakota, or South Dakota, notices must be sent to the following address: Aberdeen Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 115 Fourth Avenue SE., Aberdeen, South Dakota 57401.

(4) For child-custody proceedings in Kansas, Texas (except for notices to the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo of El Paso County, Texas), or the western Oklahoma counties of Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckman, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cimarron, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Major, Noble, Oklahoma, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Texas, Tillman, Washita, Woods or Woodward, notices must be sent to the following address: Anadarko Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, P.O. Box 368, Anadarko, Oklahoma 73005. Notices to the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo must be sent to the Albuquerque Regional Director at the address listed in paragraph (b)(6) of this section.

(5) For child-custody proceedings in Wyoming or Montana (except for notices to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, Montana), notices must be sent to the following address: Billings Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 316 N. 26th Street, Billings, Montana 59101. Notices to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, Montana, must be sent to the Portland Regional Director at the address listed in paragraph (b)(11) of this section.

(6) For child-custody proceedings in the Texas counties of El Paso and Hudspeth or in Colorado or New Mexico (exclusive of notices to the Navajo Nation from the New Mexico counties listed in paragraph (b)(9) of this section), notices must be sent to the following address: Albuquerque Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 615 First Street, P.O. Box 26567, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87125. Notices to the Navajo Nation must be sent to the Navajo Regional Director at the address listed in paragraph (b)(9) of this section.

(7) For child-custody proceedings in Alaska (except for notices to the Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Island Reserve, Alaska), notices must be sent to the following address: Alaska Regional Director—Attn: Human Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 3601 C Street, Suite 1258, Anchorage, Alaska 99503. Notices to the Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Island Reserve, Alaska, must be sent to the Portland Regional Director at the address listed in paragraph (b)(11) of this section.

(8) For child-custody proceedings in Arkansas, Missouri, or the eastern Oklahoma counties of Adair, Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Choctaw, Coal, Delaware, Garvin, Grady, Haskell, Hughes, Jefferson, Johnson, Latimer, LeFlore, Love, Mayes, McCurtain, McClain, McIntosh, Murray, Muskogee, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Marshall, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tulsa, Wagoner, or Washington, notices must be sent to the following address: Muskogee Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 101 North Fifth Street, Muskogee, Oklahoma 74401.

(9) For child-custody proceedings in the Arizona counties of Apache, Coconino (except for notices to the Hopi Tribe of Arizona and the San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe of Arizona) or Navajo (except for notices to the Hopi Tribe of Arizona); the New Mexico counties of McKinley (except for notices to the Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation), San Juan, or Socorro; or the Utah county of San Juan, notices must be sent to the following address: Navajo Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, P.O. Box 1060, Gallup, New Mexico 87301. Notices to the Hopi and San Juan Southern Paiute Tribes of Arizona must be sent to the Phoenix Regional Director at the address listed in paragraph (b)(10) of this section. Notices to the Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation must be sent to the Albuquerque Regional Director at the address listed in paragraph (b)(6 of this section).

(10) For child-custody proceedings in Arizona (exclusive of notices to the Navajo Nation from those counties listed in paragraph (b)(9) of this section), Nevada, or Utah (exclusive of San Juan County), notices must be sent to the following address: Phoenix Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1 North First Street, P.O. Box 10, Phoenix, Arizona 85001.

(11) For child-custody proceedings in Idaho, Oregon, or Washington, notices must be sent to the following address: Portland Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 911 NE 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232. All notices to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, located in the Montana counties of Flathead, Lake, Missoula, and Sanders, must also be sent to the Portland Regional Director.

(12) For child-custody proceedings in California or Hawaii, notices must be sent to the following address: Sacramento Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Office Building, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, California 95825.

(c) Upon receipt of the notice, the Secretary will make reasonable documented efforts to locate and notify the child's Tribe and the child's parent or Indian custodian. The Secretary will have 15 days, after receipt of the notice, to notify the child's Tribe and parents or Indian custodians and to send a copy of the notice to the court. If within the 15-day period the Secretary is unable to verify that the child meets the criteria of an Indian child as defined in §23.2, or is unable to locate the parents or Indian custodians, the Secretary will so inform the court and state how much more time, if any, will be needed to complete the verification or the search. The Secretary will complete all research efforts, even if those efforts cannot be completed before the child-custody proceeding begins.

(d) Upon request from a party to an Indian child-custody proceeding, the Secretary will make a reasonable attempt to identify and locate the child's Tribe, parents, or Indian custodians to assist the party seeking the information.

[81 FR 38866, June 14, 2016, as amended at 83 FR 55268, Nov. 5, 2018]

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§23.12   Designated tribal agent for service of notice.

Any Indian tribe entitled to notice pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 1912 may designate by resolution, or by such other form as the tribe's constitution or current practice requires, an agent for service of notice other than the tribal chairman and send a copy of the designation to the Secretary or his/her designee. The Secretary or his/her designee shall update and publish as necessary the names and addresses of the designated agents in the Federal Register. A current listing of such agents shall be available through the area offices.

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§23.13   Payment for appointed counsel in involuntary Indian child custody proceedings in state courts.

(a) When a state court appoints counsel for an indigent Indian party in an involuntary Indian child custody proceeding for which the appointment of counsel is not authorized under state law, the court shall send written notice of the appointment to the BIA Regional Director designated for that state in §23.11. The notice shall include the following:

(1) Name, address, and telephone number of attorney who has been appointed.

(2) Name and address of client for whom counsel is appointed.

(3) Relationship of client to child.

(4) Name of Indian child's tribe.

(5) Copy of the petition or complaint.

(6) Certification by the court that state law makes no provision for appointment of counsel in such proceedings.

(7) Certification by the court that the Indian client is indigent.

(b) The Regional Director shall certify that the client is eligible to have his or her appointed counsel compensated by the BIA unless:

(1) The litigation does not involve a child custody proceeding as defined in 25 U.S.C. 1903 (1);

(2) The child who is the subject of the litigation is not an Indian child as defined in 25 U.S.C. 1903 (4);

(3) The client is neither the Indian child who is the subject of the litigation, the Indian child's parent as defined in 25 U.S.C. 1903 (9), nor the child's Indian custodian as defined in 25 U.S.C. 1903 (6);

(4) State law provides for appointment of counsel in such proceedings;

(5) The notice to the Regional Director of appointment of counsel is incomplete; or

(6) Funds are not available for the particular fiscal year.

(c) No later than 10 days after receipt of the notice of appointment of counsel, the Regional Director shall notify the court, the client, and the attorney in writing whether the client has been certified as eligible to have his or her attorney fees and expenses paid by the BIA. If certification is denied, the notice shall include written reasons for that decision, together with a statement that complies with 25 CFR 2.7 and that informs the applicant that the decision may be appealed to the Assistant Secretary. The Assistant Secretary shall consider appeals under this subsection in accordance with 25 CFR 2.20 (c) through (e). Appeal procedures shall be as set out in part 2 of this chapter.

(d) When determining attorney fees and expenses, the court shall:

(1) Determine the amount of payment due appointed counsel by the same procedures and criteria it uses in determining the fees and expenses to be paid appointed counsel in state juvenile delinquency proceedings; and

(2) Submit approved vouchers to the Regional Director who certified eligibility for BIA payment, together with the court's certification that the amount requested is reasonable under the state standards considering the work actually performed in light of criteria that apply in determining fees and expenses for appointed counsel in state juvenile delinquency proceedings.

(e) The Regional Director shall authorize the payment of attorney fees and expenses in the amount requested in the voucher approved by the court unless:

(1) The amount of payment due the state-appointed counsel is inconsistent with the fees and expenses specified in §23.13 (d)(1); or

(2) The client has not been certified previously as eligible under paragraph (c) of this section; or

(3) The voucher is submitted later than 90 days after completion of the legal action involving a client certified as eligible for payment of legal fees under paragraph (b) of this section.

(f) No later than 15 days after receipt of a payment voucher, the Regional Director shall send written notice to the court, the client, and the attorney stating the amount of payment, if any, that has been authorized. If the payment has been denied, or the amount authorized is less than the amount requested in the voucher approved by the court, the notice shall include a written statement of the reasons for the decision together with a statement that complies with 25 CFR 2.7 and that informs the client that the decision may be appealed to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals in accordance with 25 CFR 2.4 (e); 43 CFR 4.310 through 4.318 and 43 CFR 4.330 through 4.340.

(g) Failure of the Regional Director to meet the deadline specified in paragraphs (c) and (f) of this section may be treated as a denial for purposes of appeal under paragraph (f) of this section.

(h) Payment for appointed counsel does not extend to Indian tribes involved in state court child custody proceedings or to Indian families involved in Indian child custody proceedings in tribal courts.

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