United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
Leegabe Little Whirlwind Pro se Plaintiff
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNÁNDEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Little Whirlwind brings this action against Washington County
Court. On September 13, 2018 Plaintiff moved for the
appointment of counsel, and on October 9, 2018 Plaintiff
moved to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court finds
that Plaintiff is unable to pay the filing fee and grants
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in formal
pauperis. However, the Court finds the appointment of
counsel is not appropriate at this time, and that Plaintiff
has failed to state a claim for relief. The Court therefore
dismisses Plaintiff's Complaint.
may dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis at
any time, if the court determines that:
(B) the action or appeal-
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). As the Ninth Circuit has
instructed, however, courts must “continue to construe
pro se filings liberally.” Hebbe v. Pliler,
627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). A pro se complaint
“must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Id. (quoting
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per
curiam)). A pro se litigant will be given leave to amend his
or her complaint unless it is clear that the deficiencies of
the complaint cannot be cured by amendment. Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000).
alleges that Defendant Washington County Court improperly
terminated his parental rights in violation of the Indian
Child Welfare Act. Compl. at 4. Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that on October 31, 2014, Defendant violated 25
U.S.C. § 1912 by adjudicating his parental rights
without proper notice to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.
Id. In support of his Complaint, Plaintiff attaches
a Judgment/Referral form from the Washington County Circuit
Court. This form, dated October 31, 2014, appears to impose
probation conditions. These conditions stem from a jury trial
in which Plaintiff was found guilty of two counts of assault
in the fourth degree constituting domestic violence and one
count of strangulation. Compl. at Ex. 1. The form orders
Plaintiff to have no direct or indirect contact (without
prior written permission from PO) with Joy De'Ann Allen.
Id. Additionally, next to a box designated
“other, ” there is a handwritten note that reads
“contact with children with DHS.” Id.
Plaintiff requests an order invalidating the Washington
County Circuit Court order, as well as declaratory relief.
Compl. at 2, 5.
Indian Child Welfare Act
Indian Child Welfare Act (“ICWA” or
“Act”) was enacted by Congress “to rectify
state agency and court actions that resulted in the removal
of Indian children from their Indian communities and
heritage.” Doe v. Mann, 415 F.3d 1038, 1047
(9th Cir. 2005). The Act “sets minimum Federal
standards for the removal of Indian Children from their
families and the placement of such children in foster or
adoptive homes . . . .” 25 U.S.C. § 1902. These
minimum standards include, for example, specific notice
requirements for “any involuntary proceeding in a State
court, where the court knows or has ...