"Postjudgment proceedings involving modifications to child support, custody, and placement will soon be transferable from Wisconsin circuit courts to tribal courts without a hearing.
Pursuant to Rule 801.54, adopted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2008, and effective Jan. 1, 2009, courts have already had discretion to transfer any civil action if the court finds that concurrent jurisdiction is present.
But that rule requires notice and a hearing before transfer occurs.
At a May 1 administrative conference, the court adopted an amendment to the rule for family law cases that would dispense with a hearing if no party objects.
However, the court added three provisions to the proposed amendment, which will be numbered subsec. (2)(m) in the rule.
First, the circuit court would have to make an explicit finding that the state court and the tribal court have concurrent jurisdiction over the matter.
Second, the court would have to send a detailed notice to the parties, explaining the consequences of failure to object to transfer.
Third, it adds a provision that, absent any objection from the parties, transfer will occur unless good cause exists not to transfer the case.
The impetus for the rule change is federal law permitting government entities to receive federal funding for their efforts in collecting child support. Prior to 1996, only states could receive such funding, but an amendment that year changed the law to make tribes eligible also."
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Cases can transfer to tribal court
(Wisconsin Law Journal 5/7)