Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-1505

Nebraska Revised Statutes of 1943

Chapter 43. Infants and Juveniles

Article 15. Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act


§ 43-1505. Foster care placement; termination of parental rights; procedures; rights.


(1) In any involuntary proceeding in a state court, when the court knows or has reason to know that an Indian child is involved, the party seeking the foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child shall notify the parent or Indian custodian and the Indian child's tribe, by certified or registered mail with return receipt requested, of the pending proceedings and of their right of intervention. If the identity or location of the parent or Indian custodian and the tribe cannot be determined, such notice shall be given to the secretary in like manner, who may provide the requisite notice to the parent or Indian custodian and the tribe. No foster care placement or termination of parental rights proceedings shall be held until at least ten days after receipt of notice by the parent or Indian custodian and the tribe or the secretary. The parent or Indian custodian or the tribe shall, upon request, be granted up to twenty additional days to prepare for such proceeding.


(2) In any case in which the court determines indigency, the parent or Indian custodian shall have the right to court-appointed counsel in any removal, placement, or termination proceeding. The court may, in its discretion, appoint counsel for the child upon a finding that such appointment is in the best interest of the child. When state law makes no provision for appointment of counsel in such proceedings, the court shall promptly notify the secretary upon appointment of counsel and request from the secretary, upon certification of the presiding judge, payment of reasonable fees and expenses out of funds which may be appropriated.


(3) Each party to a foster care placement or termination of parental rights proceeding under state law involving an Indian child shall have the right to examine all reports or other documents filed with the court upon which any decision with respect to such action may be based.


(4) Any party seeking to effect a foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child under state law shall satisfy the court that active efforts have been made to provide remedial services and rehabilitative programs designed to prevent the breakup of the Indian family and that these efforts have proved unsuccessful.


(5) No foster care placement may be ordered in such proceeding in the absence of a determination, supported by clear and convincing evidence, including testimony of qualified expert witnesses, that the continued custody of the child by the parent or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child.


(6) No termination of parental rights may be ordered in such proceeding in the absence of a determination, supported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, including testimony of qualified expert witnesses, that the continued custody of the child by the parent or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child.


Source: Laws 1985, LB 255, § 5; Laws 1987, LB 93, § 11.


NOTES OF DECISIONS


Under this section, a determination to terminate parental rights must be supported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, which is proof so convincing that one would rely and act upon it without hesitation in the more serious and important transactions of life. In re Interest of Phoebe S. and Rebekah S., 11 Neb. App. 919, 664 N.W.2d 470 (2003).


Under this section, qualified expert testimony is required in a parental rights termination case on the issue of whether serious harm to the Indian child is likely to occur if the child is not removed from the home. In re Interest of Phoebe S. and Rebekah S., 11 Neb. App. 919, 664 N.W.2d 470 (2003).


Under this section, the State shall provide evidence that active efforts have been made to provide remedial services and rehabilitative programs designed to prevent the breakup of the Indian family and that these efforts have proved unsuccessful. In re Interest of Phoebe S. and Rebekah S., 11 Neb. App. 919, 664 N.W.2d 470 (2003).


This section provides specific statutory requirements for proving a case for termination of parental rights in a juvenile court action involving an Indian child, and the petition for termination of parental rights must include sufficient allegations of the requirements of section 43-292 as well as this section to survive a demurrer. In re Interest of Sabrienia B., 9 Neb. App. 888, 621 N.W.2d 836 (2001).

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