Ninth Circuit Holds Shoshone-Bannock Land Use Office/Court Has No Jurisdiction over Nonmember on Nonmember Lands

Here is the opinion in Evans v. Shoshone-Bannock Land Use Policy Commission. The court’s syllabus:

Reversing in the district court’s denial of a motion for preliminary injunction and dismissal of an action seeking to enjoin tribal court proceedings, the panel held that the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes lacked the power to regulate the land use of the plaintiff, a nonmember who owned land in fee simple within the Fort Hall Reservation.

The panel held that the plaintiff was not required to exhaust tribal remedies before bringing suit in federal court because the tribal court plainly lacked jurisdiction. The panel held that because the plaintiff was an owner of non-Indian fee land, the Tribes’ efforts to regulate him were presumptively invalid under Montana v. United States, 450 U.S. 544 (1981), and an exception for the regulation of nonmember activity that directly affects a tribe’s political integrity, economic security, health, or welfare did not apply. The panel  reversed the judgment of the district court and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Briefs and lower court materials are here.