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SD Judges Ignore Order In Native Children Lawsuit

March 19, 2014, 3:18 PM

RAPID CITY, SD -

A federal judge has given four current circuit judges in South Dakota two weeks to either abide by his orders or explain why they refuse to issue transcripts of custody hearings involving Native American children.

Chief U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken issued the order in response to a motion filed by some parents who are challenging the procedures state officials used when removing children from their homes.

Viken has previously said the plaintiffs can have transcripts of some hearings.

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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