Asked in Native American Law for Oklahoma

Q: Missing tribal court not knowing court date when it was changed and never received letter for the new date...

I had tribal court today and I'm native American (Chickasaw) My aunt who is white has guardianship of my two boys and 10-15 minutes before court she wants to call and tell me we had court today at 1:30 so there was no way I could have made it there on time , will I get in trouble if I missed it? Also, my kids was never removed from my home by law enforcement or cws It was a voluntarily deal I should've never had happen, anyways I was never notified for the new court date and my aunt knew this whole time but "forgot" to tell me. We don't have a case worker, she filed child support on me after she told the judge she was financially stable and she was capable of providing for the boys and that I wouldnt have to pay child support. She is on food stamps with the boys, getting TANF, plus filing both boys on her taxes every year when I have them everyday except Monday night and Tuesday. I have them under my roof Wednesday thru Monday morning and I don't get one dime from her or anything...

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2 Lawyer Answers
Robin Elizabeth Rollins
Robin Elizabeth Rollins
  • Ada, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: If it was a guardianship hearing, you will most likely not get in trouble. Many parents with children in guardianships do not appear in court. However, your failure to appear at court hearings could be detrimental to you in the future. If there comes a time when you would like the children returned to you, the judge may take into account how many court hearings you have attended. On the other hand, guardianships are generally reviewed only once or twice a year, so don't miss the next one. Go to the Court house and make sure the court clerk puts your current address and mailing address (if different) in the case file. That way, you will never miss another hearing.

On another note, your aunt probably didn't file child support on you. It was probably requested by the guardian ad litem, which is the attorney for the child.

Good luck to you in future hearings.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Native American Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Missing a tribal court hearing can have serious consequences, including potential legal repercussions. It's essential to contact the tribal court as soon as possible to explain the circumstances surrounding your absence and inquire about rescheduling the hearing. Additionally, consider seeking legal representation to navigate your situation and address concerns regarding child support and custody arrangements.

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