Consult a CPS Attorney When Assistance Needed
Video Transcribed: Are you being investigated for child abuse or neglect, and you’re wondering what’s the difference between state or tribal courts for a deprived case? Well, stick around. I’ll tell you at least one difference. Hello, my name is Ryan Cannonie, I’m a CPS Lawyer with the CPS Investigation Defense Law office. And one area of expertise that I have is deprived case law. And I’ve done deprived cases for over seven years for the state.
I’ve been doing them as a private attorney, as well. And one thing that people don’t realize is that, especially now that McGirt has happened, and even though the tribe has, at least Cherokees and all the other five tribes, have signed an agreement for state courts to still have jurisdiction. The state courts are not the only place that a deprived case can be filed. So you can actually have a deprived case in tribal court.
You can have a deprived case that starts in state court and then moves to tribal court. And I’ll go over that in another video. But one of the things I think that people need to realize is that tribal statutes and state statutes are not always the same.
Now the tribe I’m most familiar with is the Cherokee Nation. That’s the one located where I am. That’s the one I’m licensed to practice in front of. And going over their statutes, you’ll notice that they’re pretty similar to Oklahoma’s, but they do have some differences.
And one reason for that is a lot of the Cherokee nation statutes are modeled after Oklahoma statutes from previous years, back when the Cherokees instituted their tribal code. Now some of the Cherokee statutes have been modified and amended over the years. Some have even been modified and amended even here recently, as it relates to their criminal code, that more closely aligns with the state law.
But there’s a lot of places where there’s kind of a split. So one of those places is when you talk about the definition of neglect, as it relates to children. Now for the state, there are about four different definitions of neglect.
There is going to be medical, and I’ve got them all written down here because as an attorney, it’s always easier just to look at a reference. So it’s failure or omission to provide any of the following, adequate nutrition, affection, food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, hygiene, or appropriate education, medical, dental, or behavioral health care, supervision, or appropriate caretakers, or special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of the child. In addition, the state has this kind of catch-all part there too.
That’s failure or omission to protect the child from exposure to any of the following: use, possession, sale, or manufacturing of illegal drugs, abandonment, illegal activities, sexual acts, or materials that are not age-appropriate. That illegal activity can be anything, anything that’s an illegal activity.
And that’s the state statute, as you can see is pretty broad. It covers a whole lot of different things. And it has that kind of catch-all language in there for exposure to domestic violence. Well, domestic violence is an illegal activity, therefore child neglect could apply.
Now looking at the definition of child neglect in Cherokee nation courts, it’s actually a little bit different. Instead of having those four, with all the different sub-parts, there are actually only three different aspects.
So for neglect in Cherokee nation court, it’s failure or omission to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and supervision, special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of the child, or abandonment. That’s it. That’s neglect under tribal law for deprived cases. So you can see that the state law has had a lot more changes to it than the one in tribal court.
Now, both of them cover a wide range of activities or different issues that could have come up, situations. But they both kinds of diverging when you start really looking at the definition, and this is true for a lot of tribal statutes.
So it’s really important whenever you’re looking at attorneys to not only find an attorney that understands either criminal or deprived, whatever the situation you’re in, but also someone who will look at the statute and see, “Are these the same?” And won’t just go into tribal court and expect them to be the exact same as state court.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, then please give us a call, go to our website, CPSinvestigationdefense.com. You can send us a web form there and let us know. We can have a consultation, maybe navigate you through your case. We can look into your Oklahoma CPS Investigation.