Court overturns child removal ruling

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A federal appeals court has overturned an earlier ruling that said a South Dakota county must give Native American parents more rights during initial hearings of child-removal cases.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday the Pennington County case is a state’s issue and shouldn’t have gone to federal court. A lawyer for the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux tribes plans to ask the appeals court to rehear the case. The tribes are working on behalf of three parents in a 2013 lawsuit challenging the practices of the 7th Circuit Court, the Pennington County State’s Attorney office and the state Department of Social Services during temporary custody hearings. The lawsuit alleges the Indian Child Welfare Act hearings are too brief and violate parents’ constitutional rights.