June 27, 2017

Colorado Court of Appeals: Foster Parents Allowed to Intervene to Appeal Non-termination of Mother’s Parental Rights

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of C.W.B. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Dependency and NeglectTreatment Plan—Guardian ad Litem—Termination of Parental Rights.

A petition in dependency and neglect was filed for C.W.B., Jr., and the child was placed with foster parents (intervenors). Father’s parental rights were terminated. After a hearing, the court denied the motion to terminate mother’s parental rights over the guardian ad litem’s objection.

On appeal, the intervenors first contended that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to give primary consideration to the physical, mental, and emotional conditions and needs of the child when denying the motion to terminate mother’s parental rights. Colorado law requires that the child’s needs and the parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs be considered together. Here, although there were concerns about mother’s ability to parent the child, the trial court concluded that mother’s treatment plan was appropriate, and she had substantially complied with it. Additionally, the court found that the evidence showed that mother would provide nurturing and protection adequate to meet the child’s physical, emotional, and mental health needs. The court properly assessed the child’s needs and the parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs and applied the correct legal standard in denying the motion to terminate mother’s parental rights.

Intervenors also contended that the court erred in refusing to require the Montezuma County Department of Social Services to comply with the expedited procedures under C.R.S. § 19-3-703. The trial court’s findings were adequate to show that there was good cause to delay permanency in this case.

The order was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Terminate Parent-Child Relationship

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of J.W. on Thursday, August 25, 2016.

Termination of Parent–Child Relationship—Lack of Jurisdiction.

The Clear Creek Department of Human Services (department) filed a petition in dependency or neglect concerning J.W. and N.W. Following a jury trial concerning mother, the jury answered “no” to the question of whether the children lacked proper parental care and stated that it was “unable to return an answer” as to whether the children’s environment was injurious to their welfare. Immediately following the jury trial, a hearing was held to discuss scheduling a new adjudication trial for mother. Mother instead chose to admit the children’s environment was injurious to their welfare, and the court accepted her admission. No order adjudicating the children dependent or neglected was entered. The court adopted the treatment plan already in place as the plan going forward. A few months later, the court terminated mother’s parental rights. More than a month after mother’s parental rights were terminated, the court entered a written order adjudicating the children dependent or neglected with respect to her.

Mother appealed the order purporting to terminate her legal relationship with her children. The Court of Appeals considered whether the trial court had jurisdiction to terminate mother’s parental rights before it entered an order adjudicating the children dependent or neglected with respect to her and concluded it did not. Without adjudication, a court does not acquire subject matter jurisdiction to terminate a parent–child relationship.

In addition, the Court found that the written adjudicatory order was entered several weeks after mother filed her notice of appeal. Once the notice of appeal was filed, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to take any action because jurisdiction had been shifted to the Court of Appeals.

The order adjudicating the children dependent or neglected with respect to mother and the judgment terminating her parental rights with respect to the children were vacated. The case was remanded for the trial court to resume proceedings at the adjudicatory stage.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Proof of Alleged Abuse Not Required Where Child Adjudicated Dependent Based on Lack of Parental Care

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of L.K. on Thursday, July 14, 2016.

Dependency and Neglect—Sexual Abuse—Polygraph Examination—Treatment Plan—Testimony—Evidence—Attorney Fees—Discovery Violations—Sovereign Immunity.

L.K. alleged sexual abuse by her father, C.K. Although C.K. denied the allegations, he stipulated that L.K. was dependent and neglected because she lacked proper parental care. The court accepted his admission and adjudicated L.K. dependent and neglected. The Moffat County Department of Social Services (MCDSS) devised a treatment plan for C.K., which required, among other things, that C.K. take a polygraph examination as part of denier’s treatment. Moffat later moved to terminate C.K.’s parental rights. Among other things, the court found that C.K. had been referred for a polygraph examination but did not appear for it, and it granted the termination motion, citing C.K.’s failure to successfully complete treatment designed to address the allegations of sexual misbehavior with L.K. as sufficient evidence that he was unable or unwilling to provide nurturing and safe parenting to adequately address her needs.

On appeal, C.K. contended that the trial court committed reversible error by considering the denier’s treatment polygraph examination as evidence supporting its determination that he failed to successfully complete his treatment plan. He did not dispute either that his treatment plan required him to participate in denier’s treatment or that a polygraph examination was required in denier’s treatment. For these reasons, the court properly admitted evidence of efforts to schedule an appointment for a polygraph examination and evidence that C.K. did not keep the appointment, and the court did not err in considering this evidence in terminating C.K.’s parental rights.

Next, C.K. contended that MCDSS had the burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that his parental rights should be terminated, but the trial court erred by unfairly shifting the burden of proof to him when he decided not to testify in the termination hearing. When C.K. failed to present evidence, the court did not improperly shift the burden of proof, infringe on his privilege against self-incrimination, or draw impermissible adverse inferences.

Finally, C.K. contended that MCDSS did not prove its case by clear and convincing evidence, asserting the absence of such evidence that he had sexually abused L.K., which was the basis for the petition in dependency and neglect. However, the factual basis for adjudicating L.K. dependent and neglected had already been established, and MCDSS’s burden was to prove the criteria for termination, including C.K.’s failure to comply with his treatment plan. The Court of Appeals rejected the contention that the evidence was insufficient to support the judgment.

On cross-appeal, MCDSS contended that the trial court erred in assessing attorney fees against it for discovery violations. Sovereign immunity precludes orders assessing attorney fees against a governmental entity for discovery violations.

The judgment was affirmed and the sanctions order was reversed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Ample Evidence Supported District Court’s Order Terminating Parental Rights

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in E.S.V. v. People in Interest of C.E.M. on Monday, May 23, 2016.

Termination of Parental Rights.

In this case involving a termination of parental rights, a mother’s treatment plan  included as one of its objectives that the mother would “demonstrate appropriate  protective capacities to ensure her children’s safety.” To achieve this objective, the mother was required to report to her caseworker and the guardian ad litem any contact that she had with the children’s abusive father. The district court found that the mother did not report numerous contacts with the father and was unable or unwilling to internalize the safety concerns at which her treatment plan was directed, despite the efforts of many professionals and treatment providers to assist her. The court thus found that the mother’s treatment plan was unsuccessful and the court terminated the mother’s parental rights as to the children. A division of the Court of Appeals affirmed, and the Supreme Court affirmed the division’s judgment, concluding that the evidence amply supported the district court’s  findings and conclusions.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Relinquishment-based Termination Not Allowed when Parent is Party to Dependency and Neglect Action

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of E.M. on Thursday, March 10, 2016.

Children’s Code—Dependency and Neglect—Relinquishment and Adoption— Jurisdiction.

In a question of first impression, the Court of Appeals decided that a county department of social services may not move to involuntarily terminate parental rights in a relinquishment case under article 5 of the Children’s Code when the children are the subject of a pending dependency and neglect case under article 3.

The Alamosa County Department of Human Services (department) filed a petition alleging that three children were dependent or neglected because their mother was addicted to pain pills and their father was incarcerated. The court granted temporary custody of the children to the department and placed them with relatives.

Subsequently, both parents admitted the petition’s allegations and the court adjudicated the children dependent and neglected. The court adopted a treatment plan for mother and found that no appropriate treatment plan could be devised for father.

A year after the initiation of the case, the guardian at litem (GAL) moved to terminate the parental rights of both parents under article 3. Mother relinquished her parental rights at the hearing. The department then filed three separate relinquishment cases (one for each child) under article 5. The article 3 case remained open and pending. The court terminated father’s parental rights under the relinquishment statute. At the same time, the court also issued an order establishing a new permanency planning goal and setting a review hearing in the dependency and neglect case. Father appealed the three judgments terminating his parental rights.

Father argued that the Children’s Code does not permit the department to file its termination motion in an article 5 proceeding rather than proceeding in the article 3 case. The Court agreed, holding that the dependency and neglect court maintains continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the status of a child who is alleged to be dependent and neglected until the child reaches majority or its jurisdiction is otherwise terminated.

The Court based its holding on three grounds. First, the separate and distinct purposes of article 3 and article 5 are not well served if they are intertwined. Second, the statutes make clear that the dependency and neglect court maintains continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over any child who has been adjudicated dependent and neglected. Third, under article 3, parental rights may be terminated only through the Parent-Child Legal Relationship Termination Act of 1987, not under article 5.

The judgments were dismissed in part and reversed in part, and the case was remanded with directions.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Treatment Plan Must Be Appropriate to Rehabilitate Parent

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of K.B. on Thursday, February 11, 2016.

In March 2013, the Mesa County Department of Human Services opened a dependency and neglect case concerning 16-year-old K.S., 13-year-old Mi.B., 11-year-old K.B., and 9-year-old Ma.B. The Department alleged that Mother and Father fought frequently; Father yelled at the children, called them names, and physically abused them; Mi.B. had threatened one of his sisters with a knife after an argument; and K.S., who had cerebral palsy, was not receiving physical therapy she needed. Treatment plans were adopted for both Mother and Father, who was the father to the three older children. The parents’ treatment plans were amended from time to time, including requiring both parents to actively participate in individual therapy.

In August 2013, the children were removed from the parents’ home due to renewed concerns about domestic violence, and in October 2013 the deferred adjudication was converted to an order of adjudication. In December 2014, the Department filed a motion to terminate the parent-child relationships between each of the parents and the two younger children. In July 2015, after a hearing, the court granted the motion to terminate parental rights, and both parents appealed.

On appeal, Mother contended the treatment plan was not appropriate because although domestic violence was a feature of her relationship with Father from the beginning, no domestic violence counseling or treatment was ever offered to her, and she was not told to separate from Father. The court of appeals concluded further findings were required on the issue. The court noted that in order to be appropriate, a treatment plan must relate to the child’s needs and provide treatment objectives that are reasonably calculated to render a parent fit to provide adequate parenting within a reasonable time. The court noted that the fact that a treatment plan was not successful does not mean that it was not appropriate.

Both Mother and Father had expressly stipulated that their treatment plans were appropriate, and the court found that the standard for preserving a challenge to the appropriateness of a treatment plan is not clear. Mother contended that her treatment plan was inappropriate because it failed to address the domestic violence concerns. The trial court concluded Mother could not challenge the treatment plan’s appropriateness for the first time at the termination hearing, but she could challenge the reasonableness of the efforts to rehabilitate her. The trial court found that Mother’s treatment plan failed because she did not actively participate in therapy, but it did not make explicit findings as to whether the Department fulfilled its obligation to show by clear and convincing evidence that it had provided Mother with a treatment plan that was reasonably calculated to render her fit to provide adequate parenting within a reasonable time, and whether the services were appropriate to support Mother’s treatment plan but were unsuccessful in accomplishing the plan’s purpose. The court of appeals remanded for explicit findings about the reasonableness of the treatment plan and whether the services were appropriate.

The court of appeals addressed Mother’s remaining contentions on appeal because the trial court may conclude on remand that the services were appropriate. Mother contended the record did not support the trial court’s finding that she did not comply with her treatment plan. The court of appeals disagreed. Department case managers testified that Mother did not have adequate housing for her family at the end of the case, she did not progress beyond supervised visitation, and her attendance at individual therapy was very poor. The Department employees also testified that a significant concern about Mother’s sexual boundaries with the children was supposed to be addressed at individual therapy, but Mother’s attendance at therapy was “almost nonexistent.” The court of appeals noted that these findings were more than sufficient to support the trial court’s order. Mother also contended the findings were inadequate to support the trial court’s finding that she is unfit. The court of appeals again disagreed. The current case manager testified that Mother was unfit due to her poor sexual boundaries and failure to attend individual therapy, and she was unlikely to become fit due to her poor progress with the treatment plan. The court of appeals found this testimony adequate to support the trial court’s findings of unfitness, and noted that if the court finds on appeal that the treatment plan was adequate, it may reinstate the termination order.

Both parents argued the trial court failed to evaluate less drastic alternatives to termination. The court of appeals disagreed. The Department had investigated the possibility of placing Ma.B. with her paternal grandparents in Florida, but she was frightened to be separated from the rest of her family, and the grandparents never completed the screening process. No other family members were found who were willing and able placements for Ma.B. or K.B. The trial court further found that because permanency was important to both Ma.B. and K.B., continued foster care was not a viable less drastic alternative to adoption. The court of appeals found no error in the trial court’s findings. Mother also argued that termination was not in the children’s best interests, and that instead she should be given more time to comply with her treatment plan. The trial court concluded that the benefits of termination outweighed the risks, and the court of appeals found no error in this conclusion.

The court of appeals next evaluated Father’s appeal. Father contended that the Department failed to make reasonable efforts to reunite him with Ma.B. or that his treatment plan was reasonable. He argued that the trial court erred in suspending his visitations in March 2015 and in relying on that suspension to terminate his parental rights. The court of appeals disagreed. The trial court found that Father, like Mother, had only complied in part with the treatment plan but had failed to comply with the plan’s substantive requirements. Father’s parenting time with Ma.B. had been suspended due to his angry outbursts and their effect on Ma.B. He was told he needed to resume individual therapy for his visits to continue, and he did not do so. The court found the evidence sufficient to support that the Department made reasonable efforts to reunite Father and Ma.B.

The court of appeals remanded for further findings as to whether Mother’s treatment plan was adequately crafted to render her a fit parent within a reasonable time. The court affirmed on all other points.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Trial Court Within Discretion to Terminate Parental Rights After Developing Treatment Plan

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of Z.P.S. on Thursday, February 11, 2016.

A.M.H.’s one-month-old infant, O.S., was found unresponsive and flown to Children’s Hospital, suffering from malnutrition. O.S.’s twin, M.J.S., was admitted at the same time as O.S., and was also suffering malnutrition and failure to thrive. The Phillips County Department of Social Services filed a dependency and neglect petition and assumed temporary custody of the twins and their siblings, three-year-old Z.P.S. and one-year-old N.S. Later, O.S., who had suffered brain damage from malnutrition, died after she was removed from life support.

Mother and father filed written stipulations that the children lacked proper parental care through their actions or omissions. Based on the stipulation, the court entered an order adjudicating the children dependent and neglected. One week later, the court held a dispositional hearing and entered a treatment plan for mother, which was later amended. At a later permanency hearing, the Department asked the court to terminate Mother’s parental rights based on a finding that no appropriate treatment plan could be devised. The court held a contested dispositional hearing at which it found that no appropriate treatment plan could be devised, and it terminated Mother’s parental rights. It allowed Father to relinquish his parental rights to children at the same hearing. Following a termination hearing, the court found by clear and convincing evidence that no appropriate treatment plan could be crafted for Mother because she had an emotional illness that was likely to render her unable to care for the children, M.J.S. had suffered serious bodily injury, and O.S. had died due to parental abuse and neglect.

On appeal, Mother challenged the trial court’s “no appropriate treatment plan” finding, arguing that (1) it was error for the court to find that no appropriate treatment plan could be devised after it had already approved one, and (2) the trial court erred by modifying the dispositional order by relying on information that was already before the court. The Colorado Court of Appeals evaluated whether the trial court had authority to enter a “no appropriate treatment plan” order after approving a treatment plan, and found that it did. The court of appeals noted that allowing the trial court to modify or enter new dispositional orders comports with the Colorado Children’s Code because it protects the best interests of the children. The court also held that the trial court was not required to modify the existing parenting plan before terminating parental rights.

The court of appeals similarly rejected Mother’s argument that the trial court erred in terminating her rights based on evidence that was before it at previous dispositional hearings. The court of appeals held that a trial court’s ability to modify a dispositional order is not limited to situations in which circumstances have changed. Mother also contended her due process rights were violated because the “no appropriate treatment plan” order precluded her from offering evidence of her compliance with the existing treatment plan. The court found no error, holding that Mother was on notice that the Department sought to terminate her parental rights and she was afforded ample opportunity to defend against termination.

The court of appeals affirmed the trial court.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Mother’s Fraud in Adoption Deprived Father Rights of Biological Parent

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in M.C. v. Adoption Choices of Colorado, Inc. on Thursday, November 20, 2014.

Termination of Parent–Child Legal Relationship—Due Process—Troxel Presumption.

On September 13, 2012, mother gave birth to twins in Grand Junction. The next day, she filed a petition for expedited relinquishment of her parental rights. She provided a first name for the children’s father, but alleged she didn’t know any other information that might have been used to locate him. Intervenors, clients of Adoption Choices of Colorado, Inc., were chosen as the children’s adoptive parents. They were present for the birth and the children were placed with them that day. Father’s legal relationship with the children was terminated, and a final decree of adoption was entered in December 2012.

In February 2013, father, who resided in Iowa, sought relief from the judgment terminating his parental rights. He alleged that mother had informed him she lost the pregnancy and that he didn’t discover her deception until December 2012.

The trial court found overwhelming evidence of fraud on the court by mother and held that the termination of father’s parental rights was void. The trial court ordered the parties to confer and arrange for father to have weekly visitation with the children. The parties could not agree on a means to accomplish this order and the court modified its order to provide for a more gradual visitation schedule. A guardian ad litem(GAL) was appointed to provide a written report for the court. The GAL found it was in the best interests of the children to maintain their secure attachment to intervenors and recommended termination of father’s parental rights.

Following a hearing, the trial court concluded that father had not established a substantial positive relationship with the children. The court held it was in the best interests of the children to terminate father’s parental right and place the children in the permanent legal custody of intervenors. The Court of Appeals reversed.

The Court held that the trial court erred by terminating father’s parental rights based on his not having established a substantial positive relationship with the children. Evidence did not support the conclusion that the children likely would suffer significant psychological harm if removed from intervenors’ home. The trial court also erred in failing to give father the benefit of the Troxel presumption. [Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 65 (2000).] Having found him “not unfit,” the court was required to presume that father’s decisions were in the best interests of the children.

The Court rejected intervenors’ contention that the entry of final adoption decrees conferred on them a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and control of the children equal to father’s, and that the children have a fundamental right to continue their relationship with intervenors and to have a stable, permanent home. Intervenors argued that the interest of the state, as set forth in CRS § 19-5-100.2(2), is “to promote the integrity and finality of adoptions.” However, the integrity of an adoption is not to be preserved at the cost of denying the rights of a fit biological parent. On remand, the trial court must conduct a custody hearing after affording father a full and fair opportunity to establish a meaningful relationship with his children.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Potential Father Entitled Appointed Counsel in Termination of Parental Rights Hearing

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Petition of R.A.M. on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

Parental Rights—Termination—Due Process—Right to Counsel.

Mother filed a petition to relinquish her parental rights to the child and named father as the only potential father of the child. With her petition for relinquishment, mother also filed a petition to terminate father’s parental rights. Father was served the petition, summons, and notice to terminate in jail. Father responded to the petition by indicating that he did not wish to relinquish his rights. The court proceeded to hearing without advising father of his rights or considering his request for counsel, and began the hearing without father’s presence. After considering the matter, the court found by clear and convincing evidence that father was the child’s parent. The court agreed with the adoption agency’s interpretation of the relinquishment statute and found that the law required that father be able to assume legal and physical custody of the child “at the time of the hearing.” Because father was incarcerated and thus unable to assume legal and physical custody of the child that day, the court granted the petition and terminated father’s rights.

On appeal, father contended that the trial court violated his due process rights when it failed to appoint counsel for him at the termination hearing. The Court of Appeals agreed. First, father sufficiently expressed his desire for the assistance of counsel. Also, father had an important interest, the state’s interest was not weak, and the risk of error in this case was extremely high. Before the hearing, neither the petition to terminate his rights, nor the notice to terminate his rights or the summons advised father of the allegation to be proven at the hearing: that he cannot personally assume legal and physical custody of the child, taking into account the child’s age, needs, and individual circumstances. Therefore, taking into consideration all of these factors, father had a due process right to counsel. The court’s order denying father’s CRCP 60(b)(3) motion was reversed, the judgment terminating his parent–child legal relationship was vacated, and the case was remanded.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Prospective Harm in D&N Case is Factual Question That Precludes Summary Judgment

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of S.N. on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Dependency and Neglect—Summary Judgment—Prospective Harm.

The Boulder County Department of Human Services (Department) removed S.N. from her parents at birth because a hearing on termination of parental rights involving their three older children was pending. The Department then petitioned the trial court to adjudicate S.N. dependent and neglected, alleging there was a risk of prospective harm to S.N. if she were placed in the parents’ care. The parents denied the allegations and sought a jury trial, but the Department sought summary judgment. The trial court granted the Department’s motion.

On appeal, the parents argued that prospective harm is a factual question that precludes summary judgment. The Court of Appeals first reviewed the analysis of a summary judgment motion on appeal. It then analyzed “prospective harm” in a dependency and neglect proceeding, finding that the fact-finder must determine whether it is “likely” or “expected” that the child will be dependent or neglected in a parent’s care in the future. In other words, the fact-finder must predict whether, based on the parent’s past conduct and current circumstances, it is reasonably likely or expected that the parent will mistreat or fail to provide proper care for the child in the future. A parent’s past conduct and care of other children, while probative, is not necessarily dispositive on this issue. Therefore, the Court concluded, the question of prospective harm is inappropriate for summary judgment. The Department’s motion for summary judgment did not establish the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. The trial court’s summary judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for an adjudicatory jury trial.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Transfer to Tribal Court Denied Because Dependency and Neglect Proceedings At Advanced Stage

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of T.E.R. on Thursday, May 9, 2013.

Dependency and Neglect—Indian Child Welfare Act—Termination of Parent–Child Legal Relationship.

In this dependency and neglect proceeding, mother and father appealed from the order denying transfer of jurisdiction to a tribal court under 25 USC § 1911(b) of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Father also appealed the judgment terminating the parent–child legal relationship between him and his child, T.E.R. The order and judgment were affirmed.

In September 2011, the Department of Human Services of the City and County of Denver (Department) filed a petition in dependency and neglect based on mother’s substance abuse and mental health issues and father’s incarceration. In October 2011, the Department sent a notice to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa (Tribe), pursuant to the ICWA, based on mother’s report that she was registered with the Tribe. The Tribe responded that it intended to intervene. Before it did so, the juvenile court adjudicated T.E.R. dependent and neglected and adopted treatment plans for mother and father.

In May 2012, the Tribe moved to intervene, alleging that T.E.R. was eligible for membership. The juvenile court granted the motion. The Department then moved to terminate mother’s and father’s parental rights.

In July 2012, mother moved to transfer jurisdiction to tribal court. The Department and guardian ad litem (GAL) opposed, arguing that good cause existed to deny the motion, because the case was at an advanced stage and could not be adequately presented in the tribal court without undue hardship to the parties or witnesses. In October 2012, after hearing arguments but not taking evidence, the court found good cause to deny the transfer. Following a two-day hearing, the juvenile court entered judgment terminating mother’s and father’s parental rights.

On appeal, mother and father contended it was error to find good cause to deny transfer of jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals disagreed.

The state and the tribe have concurrent jurisdiction under the ICWA over Indian children who live off the reservation. The tribal court is the preferred jurisdiction and, in the absence of good cause, the state must transfer jurisdiction to the tribe. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has issued guidelines for determining whether good cause exists. As relevant, those guidelines provide that good cause exists if the proceeding was at an advanced stage when the petition to transfer was received, or if the evidence necessary to decide the case could not be adequately presented in the tribal court without undue hardship to the parties or witnesses. The determination is within the juvenile court’s discretion. The Court found that substantial evidence in the record supported the juvenile court’s finding of good cause to deny transfer for the reasons stated.

The Court declined to address father’s argument regarding the transfer of jurisdiction because he failed to raise it in the juvenile court; therefore, it was waived. The order and judgment were affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.