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Indian Child Welfare

Indian Child Welfare


Shawn Frank

Joe Halloran

Our firm has worked for years with tribes to ensure that tribal children and their families are afforded the full protections of tribal, state, and federal laws so that they have the best opportunity to heal and to move forward together. We have:

  • Represented the interests of tribes, tribal families, and tribal children in tribal, state, and federal courts; 
  • Worked with clients to ensure that, where possible, tribal forums handle matters involving tribal children; 
  • Represented tribal clients in cases involving tribal children in state court proceedings in the Twin Cities metro area, greater Minnesota, and in state courts from South Dakota to New York;
  • Represented tribal clients in tribal court proceedings from drafting and initiating hundreds of child-in-need-of-protection petitions, to adjudicating those petitions and vindicating them on appeal;
  • Represented tribal clients in federal court proceedings involving tribal children, including securing a federal court ruling confirming the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a tribal client over its minor children, wherever those children are located, if they are in need of assistance;
  • Secured intervenor status of a Canadian First Nation under the federal Indian Child Welfare in a child welfare proceeding in New York state court, based on the tribe’s historical ancestral relationship with a federally recognized Indian tribe in the State of Minnesota; and
  • Prepared and filed scores of appellate briefs as amici curiae on behalf of tribal clients in important cases involving Indian children from other tribes, including before the United States Supreme Court.

The Jacobson Law Group has also assisted its clients in developing department policies and procedures for implementing social services responsibilities to tribal children, and in creating tribal laws to assist in addressing the needs of adult members in tribal forums, including guardianship proceedings, civil commitment proceedings, and tribal drug court procedures.