HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana grandmother is suing the Bureau of Indian Affairs for its actions in a custody battle over her grandsons.
Patsy Fercho of Glendive is seeking $1 million in damages arguing the BIA violated a Northern Cheyenne tribal court order when officers arrested her on the reservation in November 2015 and returned the two boys to their father. Court records say Fercho has not seen them since.
While a Montana court had granted custody to the father, Fercho asked the tribe to intervene and obtained a tribal court order giving her guardianship and physical custody. The boys are tribal members as is their mother, Fercho’s adopted daughter. Their father is not.
Fercho’s complaint, alleging false imprisonment and abuse of process, was filed Wednesday in Billings.
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The BIA declined to comment.