With pro bono support from Jenner & Block, the California Tribal Families Coalition (CTFC) and Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria filed a lawsuit against Humboldt County and the State of California for discriminatory treatment of tribal foster youth.

The litigation targets Humboldt County's practice of improperly denying resources to tribal youth after they leave the foster care system at age 18. Tribal youth are the only group of foster youth being denied these resources by the County.

California and other states created programs to provide ongoing resources to assist foster youth in their transition to independent living, which have shown to improve outcomes for this vulnerable population.

Humboldt County provides these extended resources to foster youth from other groups but has enacted a specific policy that improperly denies tribal youth access to these resources. The County's action appeared to be based on an erroneous directive from the State of California, which was subsequently rescinded after the state determined it was discriminatory. However, the state has not taken action to require Humboldt County to follow the law and end this discriminatory practice.

This lawsuit seeks to invalidate County policies that are improperly denying vulnerable tribal youth access to resources made available to others in the foster care system. The complaint was filed in Humboldt County Superior Court in Eureka, CA.

The Jenner & Block team includes Partners Kate Spelman, Todd C. Toral, and Keith Harper, Associates Mei Liu, Allison Tjemsland, and Krystalyn Kinsel, and Junior Paralegal Christal Oropeza.

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