Child Welfare

Tribal Court Child Welfare Cases.

MILS staff may provide representation for parents and Indian custodians, who are members of federally recognized tribes in tribal court if 1) court appointed counsel is not available to them, or 2) because of the lack of attorneys available to take appointments, the chief judge or court administrator requests MILS provide services in that court. 

MILS staff may serve as the guardian ad litem or attorney on behalf of minor children in tribal court proceedings if requested by a parent or tribal staff with authority to act on behalf of the children.

MILS may aid with related legal issues for current tribal court child welfare clients. 

State Court - Indian Child Welfare Act-Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act.

MILS staff may provide legal assistance to members of federally recognized tribes, who are also the biological relatives of the subject child(ren), in Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) or Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA) cases in:

1. state trial courts if court-appointed counsel is not available; 

2. state appellate courts; and  

3. seeking guardianship under state law, as long as the tribal member parent(s) either do not oppose the guardianship or are deceased. 

  MILS attorneys may provide representation for relatives of Indian Children who have been removed or kept from their homes through a state court action and who are seeking to become placements or adoptive homes for those children. 

MILS staff may assist clients in expunging their placement on the Central Child Abuse and Neglect Registry if they are seeking to become a relative or foster care placement or if it interferes with their ability to gain employment. 

picture of Group in front of flags at document signing