State Court Case Dismissed in Cayuga Nation Leadership Dispute

Opinion here.

Press release here.

A state supreme court has dismissed the law suit filed by former Cayuga leaders Clint Halftown, Timothy Twoguns, and Gary Wheeler against the Nation’s current government, the Unity Council.
In its May 19th ruling, the Seneca County Supreme Court adopted the Unity Council’s position that “because the underlying allegations in [Halftown’s] law suit are fundamentally founded on the longstanding question of who has the right to lead the Nation, no determination could be made by
this Court without interfering in tribal sovereignty and self-government.” The Court rejected Halftown’s claim that he is recognized as a leader of the Nation by the United States, and
suggested that regardless of Halftown’s position within the nation, the law suit lacked merit. “Notably,” the court ruled, “there is a dearth of allegations regarding any direct involvement by any of the named defendants at any of the incidents.”