Baby Girl case before Supreme Court

Adoptive Couple vs Baby Girl set for Argument before Supreme Court

Thank you to all who sent us their authorization to join the California Tribal Amicus Brief in Support of Respondents in the Case. The Supreme Court has set Tuesday, April 16, 2013 to hear oral arguments in this important case.

Supreme Court Case – Amicus Authorization

March 22, 2013 – Deadline for Authorization to Join California Tribal Amicus Brief in Support of Respondents in the Case:

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, Birth Father, and Cherokee Nation

If your Tribe would like to participate in the Tribal Amicus Brief the authorization must be in by 5pm, March 22, 2013.

On January 4th, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of the above case involving the Indian Child Welfare Act. This case has the potential to affect the rights of Tribes nationwide… On behalf of California Tribes, California Indian Legal Services will be filing an amicus brief (“friend of the court”) in support of the Birth Father and the Cherokee Nation. CILS is asking all California tribes to join the amicus brief. If your tribe or tribal organization would like to join the amicus brief, you may complete and submit the authorization (click link).

Tax Assistance Has Arrived

Free Tax Assistance For Low-Income Workers

Call us for assistance or follow the link to complete your own online 2012 Tax Returns

California Indian Legal Services (CILS) has begun offering its free tax assistance services. Those interested in free assistance should call (800) 829-0284 extension 307 or go to the California Franchise Tax Board page for a list of free online tax return services. The programs are designed to help you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, a special tax credit worth up to $5,891 for low income workers. Don’t lose out on this great tax credit and don’t pay commercial tax preparers to help you get it. Even if you don’t qualify for this tax credit, CILS may still be able to assist you at no cost.EITC

Income Eligibility Levels for 2012 Tax Year*

 

No. of children If taxpayer is single If taxpayer is married
0 $13,980 $19,190
1 $36,920 $42,130
2 $41,952 $47,162
3 or more $45,060 $50,270

 

* other factors also apply

Tax Help Arrives Soon

CILS PROVIDES FREE ASSISTANCE PREPARING YOUR TAXES

Starting January 28, 2013

California Indian Legal Services is happy to offer free tax preparation assistance. Since 2004 CILS has worked to provide California Native communities with an opportunity to complete the preparation of their state and federal income tax returns at no cost. This great program is now available to most tax payers, and has the ability to address Indian income tax matters that are often missed by others.

All Counties call CILS for an appointment: 1-800-829-0284, extension 307

See our Flyer!

Links to free online tax services will become active on January 30, 2013.

Conference Call re Supreme Court ICWA Case

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, Birth Father, and Cherokee Nation

On January 4th, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of the case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, Birth Father, and Cherokee Nation.

The South Carolina Supreme Court gave custody of Baby Girl to her non-custodial Indian father after her biological mother consented to adoption by a non-Indian couple without disclosing the child’s Cherokee heritage, which would have invoked the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

At stake in the U.S. Supreme Court’s review is: 1) whether a non-custodial Indian parent can invoke the ICWA to block an adoption that was voluntarily and lawfully initiated by a non-Indian parent under state law, and 2) whether the ICWA defines “parent” to include an unwed biological Indian father who has not complied with state law rules to attain legal status as a parent.

The Supreme Court’s decision in this case could adversely impact every tribe in the United States on how future decisions are made by state courts regarding placement of Indian children in cases where the ICWA applies (juvenile, dependency, guardianship, adoption, etc.).

Conference Call January 15th

California Indian Legal Services is hosting a conference call on Tuesday, January 15th at 10 a.m. (Pacific time) to discuss the case. The call-in number and access code to participate are: (712) 432-0600; access code 69255#.

Please contact Delia Parr ( dparr@calindian.org / 707-443-8397), Dorothy Alther ( dalther@calindian.org / 760-746-8941) or your local CILS office.

For a .pdf copy of this Tribal Alert, click here.