Ninth Circuit Holds Removal of Suit to Federal Court Does Not Abrogate Tribal Immunity

Here is the opinion in Bodi v. Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians.

From the court’s syllabus:

The panel reversed the district court’s denial of a motion to dismiss claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act and California law on the ground of tribal sovereign immunity.

Following the Eleventh Circuit, the panel held that a federally recognized Indian tribe does not waive its sovereign immunity from suit by exercising its right to remove to federal court a case filed against it in state court. The panel concluded that the act of removal does not express the clear and unequivocal waiver that is required for a tribe to relinquish its immunity.

The panel remanded the case, leaving it to the district court to address on remand any remaining immunity issues.

Briefs here.