Nooksack Council Members Sue Over Removal from Tribal Council

Here are the materials in Adams v. Kelly II:

Adams v. Kelly II Complaint

Adams v. Kelly II Michelle Roberts Declaration w Exh

And the press release:

CONTACT: Moreno Peralta, Nooksack Tribal Member

PHONE: (206) 619-7056

EMAIL: moreno.peralta125@gmail.com

 

NOOKSACK TRIBAL COUNCILMEMBERS FILE NEW TRIBAL COURT SUIT AGAINST KELLY FACTION TO CHALLENGE ATTEMPTED REMOVAL

COUNCILPERSONS MICHELLE ROBERTS AND RUDY ST. GERMAIN DID NOT “COME AND GET SERVED [THEIR] DISENROLLMENT” MEETING NOTICES AT A SPECIAL TRIBAL COUNCIL MEETING CONVENED ON THE MLK JR. HOLIDAY, SO WERE KICKED OUT OF OFFICE

Deming, WA – Today two elected members of the Nooksack Tribal Council, Michelle Roberts and Rudy St. Germain, filed a lawsuit in the Nooksack Tribal Court, challenging their illegal attempted removal by the Kelly Faction during a meeting yesterday that they did not attend in person but attempted to attend by teleconference.

 

“We were supposedly removed from office yesterday by the Kelly faction for not showing up in person at a Council meeting so the tribal cops could serve us with disenrollment papers,” said Roberts, a named plaintiff along with hundreds of other tribal members.  “It is beyond ironic that this latest injustice against the Nooksack 306 happened on MLK Day.”

 

The lawsuit seeks to declare the attempted removal of Councilperson’s Roberts and St. Germain unconstitutional, and to stop if from being carried out by the Kelly Faction.

 

The Kelly Faction attempted to appoint two allies to their seats – Enrollment Officer Roy Bailey and David Williams – in a transparent attempt to render meaningless a forthcoming February 14 primary election for several seats on the Nooksack Council.  By removing Roberts and St. Germain, the Kelly Faction would maintain a 5-person voting majority no matter the outcome of the forthcoming election.

 

“Bob Kelly and his followers continue to show absolute disregard for the Nooksack electorate,” said Roberts.  “There is no federal or tribal civil rights law that they won’t break.”

 

In light of a Nooksack Court of Appeals ruling last week, the lawsuit also seeks to establish that the Nooksack 306 are being subjected to unlawful disenrollment proceedings as “lineal descendants of a person who was enrolled after January 1, 1942 if they possess ¼ Indian blood . . .”  Lomeli v. Kelly, No. 2013-CI-APL-002 (Jan. 15, 2014), at 19, n. 24.

 

The Nooksack 306 are the children of persons enrolled after 1942—more specifically, 1973, when the Tribe was federally recognized—and are at least ¼ Indian blood.

 

Critically, the Tribal Appeals Court clarified that according to the Nooksack Constitution, Tribal membership is not tied to a 1942 federal census, as the Kelly Faction has maintained since commencing to disenroll the Nooksack 306 on February 12, 2013.

 

“We are Nooksack by every definition,” said Roberts.  “We continue to hope and pray that when all is said and done, that truth will prevail.”