WASHINGTON, D.C. — In filing more than 30 petitions for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn the court’s landmark criminal jurisdiction ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma, Oklahoma paints “a portrait of civil upheaval” in the state caused by the decision “that does not exist,” the Muscogee (Creek) Nation tells the high court in an Oct. 8 amicus curiae brief urging denial of the petitions.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A Native American mother sued Dollar General in South Dakota federal court on Oct. 8 asserting racial discrimination, saying the manager of her local store refused to sell her children candy because they are Indians and then assaulted her when she came to the store to complain.
SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on Sept. 27 vacated the Trump administration’s 2020 Clean Water Rule and remanded an Indian tribe’s case to the Environmental Protection Agency, where a new rule is under development.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York Indian tribe that sells its own brand of cigarettes filed a federal court lawsuit on Oct. 7 against an Indian tribe in Oklahoma with a similar name seeking to stop it from operating a competing smoke shop on the New York tribe’s reservation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Indian couple’s continuing legal fight against paying federal income taxes on their per capita distributions from a Florida tribe’s casino came to an end on Oct. 12 when the U.S. Supreme Court denied their petition for review.
SAN FRANCISCO — The defendants in the multidistrict litigation in California federal court against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and related entities on Oct. 8 separately filed motions to dismiss two bellwether tribal complaints in which Native American tribes allege that they were specifically targeted by JLI’s deceptive marketing about switching to e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to cigarettes.
JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi court properly issued a civil contempt citation to a man who claimed that he was immune from prosecution because he is an Indian chief as there was “substantial evidence” that he trespassed “with impunity” in a long-running property ownership dispute, the state Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 5 in affirming.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Two Native American tribes on Oct. 1 filed a brief in Wyoming federal court arguing that an energy company failed to sufficiently allege that an arbitration panel exceeded its authority or manifestly disregarded the law when it ruled that the company’s preferential right to hydraulic fracturing leases is not an absolute right.
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 1 affirmed denial of a petition for a writ of coram nobis filed by a former Navajo Nation police officer who is in federal prison after being convicted of multiple assault counts for shooting two people while off duty during an altercation on the tribe’s reservation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 declined to take up the case of a woman who says a North Carolina Indian tribe illegally voided the will of her husband, a former tribal official, letting stand decisions by the trial and appellate courts that her claims are blocked by the tribe’s sovereign immunity.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two men who have to cross Indian property to get to public California beaches and lost a quiet-title action in state court seeking recognition of a public easement across the property ask the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 27 petition for certiorari if the immovable property exception applies to tribal sovereign immunity.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by a New York couple asking the high court to weigh in on whether the Internal Revenue Service has the authority under two Indian treaties to collect a tax on income earned by the couple mining gravel on Seneca Nation land.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Several challengers’ long-running fight against an Indian tribe’s quest to operate a casino in San Diego came to a dead end at the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 when the court denied their bid for review of a decision by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which said in affirming dismissal of the challengers’ suit that it hoped its ruling would “finally put an end to these claims.”
PRESCOTT, Ariz. — On a natural gas company’s motion to enforce judgment for payroll costs incurred to remediate numerous uranium mine sites on tribal land, an Arizona federal judge on Sept. 22 agreed to award more than $65,000 in payroll costs incurred for two experts’ work overseeing the cleanup and advising the company on its obligations to the federal government. However, the judge denied the company’s bid for more than $104,000 in costs due to insufficient documentation of three experts’ activities.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — An Indian tribe cannot pursue some claims in an Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) contract dispute with the federal government because the tribe did not properly present the claims to the government before filing suit, creating a lack of jurisdiction, a South Dakota federal judge ruled Sept. 30 on the government’s partial motion to dismiss.
SALT LAKE CITY — An unsuccessful candidate for a county commissioner post fails in his challenge to the residency of the winning candidate, who is Native American, due to lack of standing “because he has not alleged a sufficiently particularized injury,” the Utah Supreme Court said Sept. 30 in affirming judgment for the winner but on alternate grounds.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A South Dakota federal judge on Sept. 28 awarded the Department of Health and Human Services summary judgment on a woman’s reverse discrimination claims over her employment with the agency’s Indian Health Services (IHS) at a Native American health care facility, saying she failed to make a prima facie case to prove racial discrimination through disparate treatment, hostile work environment, retaliation and constructive discharge.
SPOKANE, Wash. — A Native American-owned tobacco company filed a complaint in Washington federal court on Sept. 28 claiming damages of more than $3.5 million from its former legal counsel for allegedly negotiating behind its back and against its interest with two of its corporate officers to create a new tobacco company.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — After dismissing its first U.S. Supreme Court petition for certiorari challenging the court’s landmark criminal jurisdiction ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma, Oklahoma on Sept. 28 filed letters in 10 other cases seeking to overturn McGirt requesting the court to refer to its arguments in a new petition rather than the dismissed case.
CASPER, Wyo. — The Crow Tribe of Indians is back at the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in its long-running fight for the right to hunt elk off its reservation, saying in a Sept. 27 opening brief that a district court erred in not vacating its judgment that the tribe’s off-reservation treaty hunting rights were extinguished upon Wyoming’s statehood, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the opposite since then.