API was a non-Indian-owned business hired by a tribal group (or individual) to enter into a tribal governmental office to retrieve documents and perform other security-related tasks. The tribal court held it had jurisdiction under Montana 2 to adjudicate contract and tort claims relating to that activity. There probably isn’t a better fact pattern for a Montana 2 “political integrity” exception to Montana’s general rule.
A slightly different list than our first post, this post looks at the top cases in Indian law based on hits to the post on Turtle Talk. These can include posts about preliminary matters in the case. Cases will only make one appearance on the list at their highest spot (adding the total number of hits from all posts on a case would not change the top ten list). We made a note when materials from a case made it into the top 20 most downloaded documents of the year.
3. United States v. Fred Paquin, indictment of former Sault Tribe chief of police (the indictment is the 8th most downloaded document of the year).
4. Miranda v. Nielson, federal court rejects tribal stacked sentencing.
5. Saginaw Chippewa Tribe v. Granholm, boundary settlement materials.
6. United States v. Cavanaugh, federal district court dismissal of indictment as previous uncounseled convictions in tribal court could not be used as evidence of “habitual offender” status.
7. Menominee Tribal Enterprises v. Solis, OSHA applies to tribal enterprise (the decision in this case is the 20th most downloaded document for the year).
8. Pacheco v. Massengill, federal district court grants ICRA habeas petition.
9. Attorney’s Process and Investigation Services v. Sac and Fox Tribe, federal court upholds tribal jurisdiction over nonmember.
10. United States v. Tohono O’odham Nation, Supreme Court grants cert.
Here: Sac and Fox Cert Opp.
Here: API Cert Petition.
The questions presented are:
(1) Do the federal agencies’ orders establish that the Walker Council had authority to control the casino and enter the contract, such that the Tribe’s claims must be arbitrated, not litigated in tribal court?
(2) Does the tribal court lack jurisdiction over the Tribe’s claims that petitioner committed tribal-law torts by entering into the casino, investigating the dissidents’ illegal operation of the casino, and receiving payments from the Walker Council?
This case arises out of alleged tortious nonmember conduct during the leadership dispute at Meskawki a few years back. In 2005, the Northern District of Iowa applied the tribal court exhaustion doctrine as justification for staying the case (nov-2005-dct-order). The tribal court’s processes have run (motion-to-reopen-case [includes tribal court decision]), and now the case has been reopened (dct-order-reopening-case).
This will be a very interesting application of the Montana test, if the court reaches the merits.