As the Court declines to enter a preliminary injunction on the grounds that unclear legal precedent preclude a finding of a likelihood of success on the merits and that public policy counsels against injunction, the Court does not reach the issues of irreparable harm and the balance of the equities. The Court notes, however, that this decision should not be seen as a comment on the ultimate merits of this case. Policies that counsel against the extraordinary remedy of a preliminary injunction may have no relevance to the ultimate questions of tribal and state sovereignty which are at issue in this case.
Additionally, the Court’s unwillingness to enter an injunction should not be construed as an invitation to the County to ignore the jurisdictional concerns raised by the Nation in the materials supporting this motion. It appears that the parties have the capacity to resolve many of their concerns by finding common ground through their shared interest in investigating and punishing crime. To that end, an agreement or memorandum of understanding respecting the jurisdictional authority of both parties could clarify what the County refers to as a “jurisdictional maze.”