Over 15 years ago, the Minnesota Tribal Court/State Court Forum petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court to adopt a robust rule for recognition of tribal court orders. Due in large part to public concern about the efficacy of tribal courts, the supreme court adopted a more cautious rule, one that provided limited guidance and delegated excessive discretion to district courts. The consequences were delays and inconsistencies in the recognition process.
In 2016, the Forum petitioned the supreme court to amend the rule, arguing that any concerns about today’s tribal courts are unfounded. It asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to enhance the rule and extend due deference and respect to tribal courts. The petition received overwhelming support from state court judges, local attorney associations, and the national Indian law community. In a 4-2 decision on July 2, 2018, the Minnesota Supreme Court granted the Forum’s petition with minor amendments.
Thank you to all of the state and tribal court judges of the Forum for their leadership and thanks also to Peter Rademacher (Hogen Adams PLLC) for his tireless work as scrivener of the Forum.