A federal judge in South Dakota has circumvented other judges' reluctance to order transcripts of hearings involving Native American children by instructing the court reporters who recorded the hearings to produce the transcripts.
Chief U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken ordered the court reporters to produce the transcripts by June 1.
Viken issued the order as part of a lawsuit filed by some parents who are challenging the procedures state officials used when removing children from their homes.
The parents' lawsuit claims courts and officials disregarded provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act by holding improper hearings before removing children from homes for 60 days.
The 1978 federal law came after Congress found high numbers of Indian children being removed from their homes.
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