Boney v. Valline — Suit re: Police Liability under Self-Determination Act & FTCA

Here is the opinion in this case — boney-v-valline-dct-order — where the District of Nevada held that a tribal officer who employed deadly force was enforcing tribal law, and so could not be liable under the FTCA or the Self-Determination Act.

Here are the materials:





3 thoughts on “Boney v. Valline — Suit re: Police Liability under Self-Determination Act & FTCA

  1. Tom Murphy February 12, 2009 / 2:25 pm

    This opinion could’ve been a lot shorter if the district court applied and followed Talton v. Mayes (1896), which was relied upon in Dry. If I read the facts correctly, the incident occurred on the Rez. When I last checked, the United States Constitution is not a constraint on Indian tribes (isn’t that why we have ICRA in the first place?), which would preclude a Bivens action as a matter of law.

    While the 638 theory is novel, the primary problem for the plaintiff is that the Ninth Circuit has recognized that a tribe’s enforcement of its laws against its members emanates from the tribe’s inherent sovereignty, not federal law.

    However, I do applaud the federal district court for reaching the correct result, even if it did take the long way…

  2. Sharon Frances Miller May 27, 2009 / 5:00 pm

    It is my opinion after almost two years on the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Reservation facilitating the practice of legal advocacy that Mrs. Gaylene Boney was first abused by Officer Valline in the worst way that can be conceived of by an itional Indian mother and is now being abused by a Court System. It is a fact that Tribal Sovreignity emanates from the United States Government. All Native Americans United States Citizens first and enjoy Equal Protection under the US Constitution. Sovereignity is not a given. Despite indigenosity as United States Citizens and due to the fact that treaties were signed with the United States Government in exchange for peace and financial benefit the United States Department of the Interior is in control of Sovreignity as well as all funds going to any Indian Tribe. Bivens is of course not a Case that bears talking about here. The Officer was not a Federal Agent at the time. Actually, Mrs. Boney should sue the United States Department of the Interior for allowing the Walker River Tribe to maintain Sovreignity after the hiring of Valline. Valline had an existing history of an inability to interact with the public in a positive way and he came to that Reservation with all of his baggage from Eureka County. This baggage included human rights violations. The United States Department of the Interior should have stopped funding and begun invesatigating sovreignity when Valline was hired. With such an initiative Manny Boney would still be among us. Sovreignity is good as long as you are seeing Tribal Treatment that is democratic, but the United States Government cannot tolerate anything that resembles fascism;terrorism;human rights violations within Tribes because it is Counterproductive to the motivation of the United States government which has fought for democracy. In plain words a sleeper cell cannot exist; be sanctioned;or paid for by the United States government. Sovreignity of such shall be stripped and funding placed in limbo until proper investigation can be made. This can occur at any moment to any Tribe. Concerning whether Valline premeditated or not this is another incorrect road to address. Proper law enforcement procedure is where this case should be going. Proper procedure is never to take an inebriated person seriously regardless of what he says or does. For protection of self Valline had a multitude of avenues open that did not include killing. An ethical police offiecer who has been properly trained will not allow himself to engage in talk with individuals already under the influence when he arrives at the scen unless they are being compliant. First sign of noncompliance goes to locking yourself in your unit;radioing for support;and remaining vigilant as to any apparent threat to protect your own life. If he felt he had to he could have Tazed Manny prior to radioing for backup. Deadly force should only be used if it is your life as an officer or that of the attacker and you have “NO !” alternatives and/or you have warned a mobile suspect “Stop or I will Shoot! several times and he is still moving and capable of jeopardizing the community you are trying to protect. None of this existed for Valline. No one should have died. That Valline or someone of his nature is out there absorbed in Indian Country worries me. As Native Americans we need to put our names on complaint forms if necessary to cause our leaders to understand that we need to be treated fairly and part of that means not letting anybody with a negative history be placed in a uniform and paid to control Rez activity. Gaylene Boney is a perisistent;courageous and patient person. Her cause of action can and should be won not only for herself and Manny but for our ancestors and for us.

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