New Mexico COA Revisits State Jurisdiction over State Controlled Highways in Indian Country — Reaffirms Tribal Sovereignty

Here is the very interesting opinion in Hinkle v. Abeita.

An excerpt:

In this appeal, we are asked to reconsider whether our state courts have subject matter jurisdiction over tort claims filed against Indian defendants for conduct occurring on state highways within Indian country. Although binding precedent holds that our state courts do not have jurisdiction over such matters, see Hartley v. Baca, 97 N.M. 441, 442-43, 640 P.2d 941, 942-43 (Ct. App. 1981), we revisit the issue to determine whether evolving federal Indian Law jurisprudence and recent precedent from our own Supreme Court now require a different result. We hold that those developments do not alter our analysis in Hartley, and we hereby affirm the district court’s decision to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

If anyone has the briefs, we’d love to post them.