25 U.S.C.A. 1912(F) Example Case

In Pima County Juvenile Action No. S-902, 130 Ariz. 202, 206-07, 635 P.2d 187, 191-92 (App. 1981) the Court held that the Arizona juvenile court erred by not deferring to tribal court jurisdiction under the Child Welfare Act, and that, "even assuming that the Arizona court had jurisdiction," the sole ground for termination (abandonment) was not proven, id. at 207-08, 635 P.2d at 192-93.

The Court also stated that, even if a state court properly retains jurisdiction, "the tribe is protected against the possibility of state court bias against tribal culture" because, in part, "the parent-child relationship can be terminated only by a showing of parental unfitness beyond a reasonable doubt. 25 U.S.C.A. 1912(f)." Id. at 204, 635 P.2d at 189.

The court's resolution of the issues before it did not require it to "squarely address" the dual burden of proof issue and, in any event, its summary of § 1912(f) was not accurate.