State judge, other defendants in Indian child welfare case asks court to reconsider decision

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RAPID CITY, South Dakota — A South Dakota state judge and other defendants have filed motions requesting a federal judge reconsider his ruling in which he found state officials in Rapid City set policies that violate the federal Indian Child Act Welfare Act.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken issued the opinion on a lawsuit last month that was brought by the Oglala Sioux and Rosebud Sioux tribes and three Native American parents.

Viken wrote that state Judge Jeff Davis and other defendants have failed to protect American Indian parents' fundamental rights at preliminary 48-hour custody hearings. Some of the violations Viken cited included not allowing parents to testify and not allowing them a court-appointed lawyer.

Davis and other defendants raised factual and legal challenges in their motions to reconsider that they filed this week.

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