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The U.S. Supreme Court reported Monday that it will not hear the case involving a former Santa Clarita child with Native American ancestry who was removed from a foster home in Saugus and placed with relatives in Utah.

The decision puts an end to the legal tug-of-war over 6-year-old “Lexi,” which gained media attention last March when her foster parents, Rusty and Summer Page, went public in their opposition to the child’s impending placement with with her relatives, a move that had been planned in 2011 before Lexi came into the Pages’ care.

Two lower courts and the California Supreme Court denied appeals last year to keep Lexi with her foster family.

According to court documents filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by Lexi’s own court-appointed attorney, Christopher Blake, “The minor is satisfied with her current adoptive placement; it is in accord with general principles of California law and with the principles of (the Indian Child Welfare Act), both federal and California. There is simply no need for this court to intervene and upset this adoptive placement to which the minor, her tribe, the agency responsible for her care and custody and her parents, have all agreed.”

Blake also states that both the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma, in which is Lexi is eligible for enrollment, have chosen Lexi’s relatives in Utah, “and that selection was made before (the Pages) ever assumed any care for the minor, and they were always aware of that fact,” adding that state law “strongly favors relative placement and placement with siblings for dependent minors.”

In a statement released Monday on the “Save Lexi” Facebook page, the Page family wrote: “To say we are heartbroken is an understatement. … We will continue to advocate on Lexi’s behalf. We are her parents and will never give up on her. Our home will always be her home, and we know that one day we will be able to hold her in our arms again. One day she will know how many people fought for her. Lexi, we love you forever and ever.”

“The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal in Lexi’s case. This means the former foster parents have exhausted their appeals, and Lexi can now remain permanently with her sister in the home of their extended family,” said DCFS Public Affairs Director Armand Montiel. “We are satisfied with the Supreme Court’s decision.”

An article by Charlie D. Clark of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, published Jan. 11 in Native Times, states: “The Choctaw Nation is pleased that this lengthy and unnecessary litigation has been brought to an end by the U.S. Supreme Court. Lexi can remain where she belongs, with extended family that will raise her and a sister in the Choctaw tradition. The attorneys who brought the case to the high court made clear from the beginning their goal was not only to remove Lexi from her Utah family, but to overturn the Indian Child Welfare Act. They failed to do so, and the ICWA will continue to protect Native American children’s rights to family and cultural connections.”

Statements from other parties involved in the case will be added to this article as they become available.

Attached are briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court by all parties:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Star says:

    Lexi, is exactly where she needs to be, where she legally belongs. The interests of this child were met. Lexi is free to blossom without the unnecessary petty vindictiveness of that foster family who used her as a prop to win sympathy from the duped masses of ignorant people living in SCV.

  2. goooey says:

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/archive/B252999.PDF

    “By the time Alexandria was placed with the P.s in December 2011, her extended family in Utah, the R.s, were aware of dependency proceeding and had spoken to representatives of the tribe about their interest in adopting Alexandria. The tribe agreed to initial foster placement with the P.s because it was close to father at a time when he was working on reunification. If reunification services were terminated, the tribe recommended placement with the R.s in Utah.”

    The Utah Family referred to as the R’s were always the first choice for placement if reunification with the biological father failed.

    “On October 4, 2012, the court terminated father’s reunification services and scheduled a hearing for termination of parental rights under Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26. At the Department’s request on November 16, 2012, the court issued a request for expedited placement, identifying the R.s in Utah as the planned placement under the ICPC.”

    As early as November 16, 2012 a request for expedited placement was issued.

    “On January 17, 2013, while the ICPC request was still in process, Alexandria’s guardian ad litem and court-appointed attorney requested a “Do Not Remove” order to prevent Alexandria from being moved out of state without a court order. ”

    By January 2013, the Page’s blocked the placement of Lexi with the intended adoptive family in Utah. During the 2yrs that lexi was under foster care with the Pages, the Pages was reminded that the child was under ICWA jurisdiction, that the foster placement was _temporary_, that the R’s were the intended adoptive placement family.

    The Page’s most likely acted out of a misguided attempt at safeguarding Lexi’s welfare. but the irony is that they probably ended up causing the most damage by delaying Lexi’s prompt placement for _3 years_

  3. Coastal Sage says:

    Here’s a link to the resume of the appellate lawyer for the foster parents who appealed the California courts’ decisions all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now no one in Santa Clarita will ever find out why she took the case. http://wilkinsonwalsh.com/who-we-are/lori-alvino-mcgill/

    Now we’ll never find out what the Goldwater Institute wanted to accomplish by filing an amicus brief in the case in support of the foster parents.

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s docket page for this case tells us that on January 6, 2017 the Justices sat down and discussed a bunch of cases to decide which ones they wanted to hear. It’s pretty bone chilling from the point of view of the foster parents and the little girl involved to think of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices sitting around a table and deciding, in effect “Off with their heads”.

    With my kids, looking back at ancestors who would make up a 1/64th blood line we would have to go all the way back before the Revolutionary War. I bet the same holds true for most families in the USA.

    The upshot of the refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case is that if your children are 1/64th Native American, or more, you need to keep your mouth shut about that fact, because if those children are ever involved in a custody lawsuit some Native American tribe can muscle their way in, claim that your child is a Native American and a defacto member of their tribe and dictate who gets custody, regardless of what the judge thinks is right. No I am not kidding.

    • Lina says:

      @Coastal Sage: “Here’s a link to the resume of the appellate lawyer for the foster parents who appealed the California courts’ decisions all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now no one in Santa Clarita will ever find out why she took the case.”

      She took it because she is a part of a group that wants to abolish a federal law. Also because no respectable attorney would take such a case, and she was the only one desperate enough for it.

      “Now we’ll never find out what the Goldwater Institute wanted to accomplish by filing an amicus brief in the case in support of the foster parents.”

      The Goldwater Institute wants to destroy it’s founder’s reputation, and so they want to abolish the federal law that the founder was in favour of.
      Also, there is money involved in finalizing adoptions, so people with a financial interest in that will try to create more opportunities to make money whenever they can.

      “The U.S. Supreme Court’s docket page for this case tells us that on January 6, 2017 the Justices sat down and discussed a bunch of cases to decide which ones they wanted to hear. It’s pretty bone chilling from the point of view of the foster parents and the little girl involved to think of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices sitting around a table and deciding, in effect “Off with their heads”.”

      Why are you including the girl in that? She wants to stay in Utah, with her baby sister and her family. She does not want her former fosters.
      And the former fosters have done absolutely nothing to earn sympathy points. They made their bed when they prevented Lexi from going home almost four years ago now. They knew it would come to this moment and they did not care how their actions would affect Lexi.
      THAT is bone chilling.

      “With my kids, looking back at ancestors who would make up a 1/64th blood line we would have to go all the way back before the Revolutionary War. I bet the same holds true for most families in the USA.”

      Then rest assured that it has nothing to do with that. That ancestor is simply the enrolled ancestor who guaranteed his children enrollement, his children guaranteed their children enrollement, etc.
      Lexi’s father is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation. So was her grandmother. So are both of her sisters. Lexi’s membership in the tribe is because her father is a member.
      And just because they got their eligibility through that one ancestor does not mean it’s the only Native ancestor of that family just because it’s his line on their CDIB.

      “The upshot of the refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case is that if your children are 1/64th Native American, or more, you need to keep your mouth shut about that fact, because if those children are ever involved in a custody lawsuit some Native American tribe can muscle their way in, claim that your child is a Native American and a defacto member of their tribe and dictate who gets custody, regardless of what the judge thinks is right. No I am not kidding.”

      You may not be kidding, but you are absolutely mistaken.
      Lexi is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, and her father requested a placement with family members, the tribe simply approved his request.
      Also, if your children are 1/64 Native American, that does not mean they are eligible for enrollment in federally recognized tribe. ICWA only applies to children who are members of a federally reconized tribe or eligible for enrollment in such. And even then, they do not ignore the parents’ wishes.
      There’s actually one case where both parents of an Indian child wanted their child to be adopted to strangers. The tribe did not fight that, since both parents wanted it, and simply made the condition that the girl be enrolled in the tribe before the adoption, which was the girl’s right.

      Also, all judges involved in this case have ruled in favour of Lexi’s family and against the former fosters. Lexi’s move to her family was right for her, and all professionals and her family members approved it. The only ones who didn’t like it are the former fosters, and they never had any rights to the child AND the child does not want to be with them anyway.

      • SCVNews.com says:

        Also, if you remove ancestry from the equation altogether, what you’re left with is some non-relatives trying to prevent a child from reuniting with her competent relatives, which they knew would happen from the very beginning, and dragging it out in court for years, to the potential detriment of the child’s emotional well being.

  4. Nadiya Littlewarrior says:

    Thank you SCOTUS!

  5. Jo says:

    It is amazing that here in the article are all of the documents given the court. I can’t believe that anyone who actually reads through them would come to the conclusion that the child’s best interest was not served.

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