U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Choctaw child custody case

Published: Jan. 11, 2017 at 12:15 PM CST
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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the custody case of a Choctaw child who was placed with extended family in Utah under terms of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Without comment, the court refused to hear an appeal of California court decisions that removed a child known as Lexi from a Santa Clarita, Calif. foster family who had fought the law in an effort to adopt Lexi.

She has been living with her Utah relatives since last Spring. California courts consistently held that the federal law should apply.

The video of a girl named Lexi being removed from her foster parents, Rusty and Summer Page's home in California to live with extended family in Utah went viral in March 2016, prompting national media scrutiny.

Melissa Middleton, director of Indian Child Welfare for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma told KXII at the time, "Our goal had been to get Lexi back with her family," . She filed a brief in support of moving Lexi from her foster home. We absolutely believe that her best placement is with her family, she needs to grow up and get to know her sisters."

The Choctaw Nation released a statement Wednesday saying, "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."