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In re Jassenia H.

Supreme Court of Nebraska

June 12, 2015

IN RE INTEREST OF JASSENIA H., A CHILD UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE.STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE, AND JOY SHIFFERMILLER, GUARDIANAD LITEM, ONBEHALF OF JASSENIA APPELLANT,
v.
MONIQUE M., APPELLEE

Page 243

Appeal from the Separate Juvenile Court of Lancaster County: TONIG. THORSON, Judge.

Joy Shiffermiller, of Shiffermiller Law Office, P.C., L.L.O., guardian ad litem, for appellant.

Lisa F. Lozano and Danielle L. Savington for appellee Monique M.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, MCCORMACK, MILLER-LERMAN, and CASSEL, JJ. STEPHAN, J., not participating.

OPINION

Page 244

[291 Neb. 108] Cassel, J.

INTRODUCTION

This appeal attempts to challenge a juvenile court order determining that the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA)[1] (and by implication, the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act (NICWA)[2] applies to the adjudication proceeding of an alleged Indian child. The child's guardian ad litem (GAL) asserts that the " Indian family" had already been dissolved by the mother's intent to relinquish custody. However, we determine that the order was not a final, appealable order. The mere determination that ICWA and NICWA applied, without further action, did not affect a substantial right. We dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

BACKGROUND

The juvenile proceeding under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(3)(a) (Reissue 2008) regarding Jassenia H. began several weeks [291 Neb. 109] after her birth and commenced with the filing of a motion for temporary custody.

Page 245

In support of the motion, the State attached an affidavit from a " Children and Family Services Specialist" with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The specialist indicated that Jassenia's mother, Monique M., had an extensive history of involvement with DHHS regarding her other children. According to the specialist, " [S]everal of [Monique's] children have been abused and/or neglected, which resulted in them being removed from her care. She has thereafter failed to correct the conditions of neglect and those children have not been able to be returned to her care."

The juvenile court granted DHHS temporary custody of Jassenia and ordered that she be removed from Monique's care. Several days later, the State filed a petition for adjudication pursuant to ยง 43-247(3)(a), alleging that Jassenia lacked proper parental care by reason of Monique's fault or habits and/or that ...


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