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Last Post 10 Feb 2020 12:54 PM by  Brandelle Whitworth
R-20-0003 AZ Sup. Crt. Rule 39
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J. Greene
New Member
Posts:8 New Member

--
08 Jan 2020 11:11 AM
    Filed on behalf of:
    Hon. Randall Howe, Vice-Chair
    Arizona State, Tribal, and Federal Court Forum
    Court of Appeals, Division 1
    1501 W. Washington
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    602-452-3323
    TribalCourtForum@courts.az.gov

    Would amend Supreme Court Rule 39(a) to eliminate pro hac vice requirements in Indian Child Welfare Cases

    Filed January 8, 2020

    Comments must be submitted on or before May 1, 2020.

    Replies must be submitted on or before June 1, 2020.
    Attachments
    Brandelle Whitworth
    New Member
    Posts:2 New Member

    --
    10 Feb 2020 12:54 PM
    Brandelle Whitworth
    PO Box 306
    Fort Hall, ID 83203
    208.478.3822
    bwhitworth@sbtribes.com

    I fully support and encourage the approval of R-20-0003 AZ Sup. Crt. Rule 39, amending Arizona Supreme Court Rule 39(a), to eliminate pro hac vice requirements in Indian Child Welfare Cases.

    I am licensed to practice law in the states of Idaho, Washington, and Utah, as well as the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Court. I have been employed as an in-house attorney with my Tribe, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho, for 20 years and during that time have appeared in ICWA cases in approximately 18 different states. Through the years, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes has been required to spend thousands of dollars from our limited Tribal budget to pay Pro Hac Vice fees and/or hire local counsel to participate in ICWA cases across the United States, including Arizona.

    I can attest that bar licensure, pro hac vice fees, and/or the hiring of local counsel can be very cost prohibitive and often act as a bar to full participation of the very Indian tribes who’s rights were meant, in addition to the rights of the affected Indian children, to be protected by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

    Although many tribes receive federal grants for child and family services, those funds cannot be used for legal representation or for legal fees for litigation. See, e.g., 25 U.S.C. § 1931(a)(8); 25 CFR §§ 89.40-41. Other federal moneys for social services are similarly restricted and cannot be used to pay for legal services for litigation. 25 U.S.C. §§ 450 et seq. This Rule amendment provides a solution to these funding restrictions. Accordingly, this proposed rule change would improve the welfare of Indian children in Arizona ICWA proceedings by ensuring that their tribes can meaningfully participate in Arizona proceedings related to their children.

    Based on the foregoing, I strongly encourage your approval and amendment of Arizona Supreme Court Rule 39(a), to better enable Indian tribes’ participation in these types of cases in the great State of Arizona. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Brandelle Whitworth
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