Native Village of Kwinhagak v. State, Department of Health & Social Services

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Held that both the State’s delay in notifying other parties to “child in need of aid” case of child’s admission to hospital, as well as the 46-day delay between the child’s hospitalization and the hearing on whether such hospitalization was justified, violated procedural due process. The court reasoned that minors’ interest in bodily autonomy was entitled to great weight in procedural-due-process analysis, despite the lack of presumption of complete autonomy. The court further held that the public-interest exception to the mootness doctrine applied to questions of which statutes governed child’s hospitalization and whether such statutes were constitutional; the Tribe had standing to assert the child’s constitutional rights under the parens patriae doctrine; the OCS had statutory authority to place the child in in-patient psychiatric care without petitioning under civil commitment statutes; and the child’s extended stay in the hospital did not plainly violate her right to substantive due process.

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