Resource Letter:
For Judges and Attorneys Handling Child Protective Services Cases
December 7, 2018
Update on the status of ICWA in Texas
On November 9, 2018, the Children’s Commission sent a Resource Letter for Attorneys and Judges Handling Child Protective Services Cases which provided a brief statement and a link to the opinion in Brackeen v. Zinke from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued on October 4, 2018. Click here to read the Resource Letter.

The United States and Tribal Defendants both appealed the October 4, 2018 ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Tribal Defendants (“Appellants”) also filed a motion to stay the federal U.S. District Court’s opinion pending appeal. Plaintiffs (“Appellees”) opposed the motion to stay, and requested an expedited briefing and oral argument schedule.

On December 3, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its order in Brackeen v. Zinke granting the Appellants’ motion to stay judgment pending appeal. The Fifth Circuit also granted in part Appellees’ motion to expedite appeal and set an expedited briefing schedule.

As a consequence of the stay, all sections of the Indian Child Welfare Act and Final Rule are in effect and should be adhered to pending further action by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit .  

The Department of Family and Protective Services will resume application of ICWA and its accompanying regulations. All Texas courts hearing child protective cases should apply ICWA (25 U.S.C., § 1901 et seq.) and the Final Rule (25 C.F.R. Part 23) until further notice.

Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.
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For a complete list of  Jurist in Residence Letters  and  Attorney Resource Letters , please visit the Children's Commission website. Information provided by the Children’s Commission should not be read as a commentary by the Supreme Court of Texas or any other court. For more information about the Children’s Commission, please visit our  website .