Miami appeals court rules custody battle should stay out of tribal court

04/23/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Miami – An appeals court in Miami has determined that a custody battle involving a Miccosukee mother and non-Indian father should not be overseen by a tribal court. As reported by the Miami Herald, the decision is the first made by a Florida appeals court to strip tribal court judges of their authority in a child custody battle.

Kevin Stier went to state court last year seeking joint custody of two young children he shares with tribal member Layla Billie. The tribe’s court had previously awarded Billie temporary custody during a hearing at the Miccosukee reservation off Tamiami Trail in the Everglades.

The Third District Court of Appeal stated the case should be heard in Florida state court and agreed with the decision of Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer’s determination that the procedures of the tribal court, which included not permitting Stier to testify or have an attorney present, were substandard legally.

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Miami Legal News

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