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SD Indian Case Against Social Services Can Proceed

January 29, 2014, 2:14 PM
Updated: January 29, 2014, 4:10 PM

SD Indian Case Against Social Services Can Proceed
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

A lawsuit from two tribes accusing South Dakota of routinely violating the federal law governing foster care and adoptions for American Indian children can proceed as a class-action case.

According to court documents, a Rapid City judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss the lawsuit and ruled that parts of it can proceed at an expedited pace and as a class-action case.

The Oglala Sioux and Rosebud Sioux tribes and three Indian parents filed the lawsuit last year. It names South Dakota Social Services Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon and employee LuAnn Van Hunnik, Pennington County State's Attorney Mark Vargo and 7th Judicial Circuit Court Presiding Judge Jeff Davis.

It alleges the state is violating the Indian Child Welfare Act by holding improper hearings after children are removed from homes.

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