Mealey's Native American Law

  • October 14, 2021

    Creek Nation Says High Court Should Deny Oklahoma’s Bid To Overturn McGirt

    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.

  • October 13, 2021

    Indian Mom Sues Dollar General Claiming Bias Against Native Americans

    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.

  • October 12, 2021

    New Mexico Federal Judge Vacates Trump Clean Water Rule, Remands To Agencies

    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.

  • October 12, 2021

    New York Cayugas Sue Oklahoma Cayugas Over Operation Of Smoke Shop

    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.

  • October 12, 2021

    Tribal Couple Loses Cert Bid Over Tax Liability Finding For Casino Revenue

    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.

  • October 11, 2021

    Juul MDL Defendants Move To Dismiss Tribal Bellwether Claims

    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.

  • October 06, 2021

    Trespasser’s Indian Defense Correctly Rejected, Appeals Court In Mississippi Says

    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.

  • October 05, 2021

    Tribes:  Arbitration Ruling Against Company’s Fracking Lease Rights Was Proper

    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.

  • October 05, 2021

    10th Circuit Denies Coram Nobis Relief For Convicted Former Tribal Officer

    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.

  • October 05, 2021

    Supreme Court Denies Cert For Widow’s Claims Against Tribe For Invalidating Will

    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.

  • October 05, 2021

    High Court Petitioned In Row Over Tribes And Immovable Property Sovereignty

    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.

  • October 04, 2021

    Cert Denied For Income Tax Row Involving Seneca Nation Land, Treaties

    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.

  • October 04, 2021

    Challengers To California Tribe’s Status, Casino Lose Bid For Certiorari

    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.”

  • October 01, 2021

    Arizona Federal Judge Awards Partial Remediation Costs For Lack Of Documentation

    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.

  • October 01, 2021

    Claims Trimmed In Tribe’s Suit Claiming It Is Owed ISDEAA Funding

    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.

  • October 01, 2021

    Utah Supreme Court Upholds Denial Of Challenge To Native American Candidate

    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.

  • September 30, 2021

    Nurse’s Reverse Bias Claims Over Work At Indian Health Services Clinic Fail

    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.

  • September 30, 2021

    Native American Tobacco Company Sues Former Counsel For Conflicts Of Interest

    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.

  • September 30, 2021

    Oklahoma Asks High Court To Consider New Cert Petition Challenging McGirt

    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.

  • September 29, 2021

    Crow Tribe Turns To 10th Circuit In Bid To Have Hunting Ruling Vacated

    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.