FTCA/Civil Rights Suit against BIA Officers Enforcing N. Cheyenne Tribal Bench Warrant against Non-Indian Dismissed

Here are the materials in the case captioned In re Roberts Litigation (D. Mont.):

33 Federal Motion for Summary J

44 Opposition

45 Federal Reply

54 DCT Order Granting Federal Motion for Summary J

An excerpt:

In order for Roberts’ claim under Bivens to survive, the law must have been sufficiently clear to place a reasonable officer on notice that the Tribal Court acted in complete absence of jurisdiction in issuing the warrants, and that in carrying out the Tribal Court mandate to serve the warrants, reasonable officers would have known they were [8]  engaging in an unlawful act, Existing law permits no such conclusions, notwithstanding Roberts’ contention that the law was clearly established that the Tribal Court lacked criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians under the authority of Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, 435 U.S. 191, 98 S. Ct. 1011, 55 L. Ed. 2d 209 (1978) and that the officers had personal knowledge that Roberts was a non-Indian.

Roberts’ argument fails to take into account the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Court’s claim of capacity to exercise jurisdiction over non-Indians by consent. It is not necessary, however, for this Court to decide the question of whether a tribal court may exercise such jurisdiction. Rather, the issue is whether the law was so clearly established at the time of Roberts’ arrests that a reasonable officer would have known that the tribal court was wholly without jurisdiction and that he was engaging in a null and void act. Existing law is not sufficiently clear to warrant that conclusion. The jurisdictional issue remains.

The officers were presented with facially valid warrants, they were charged with the responsibility to execute the warrants, and they had a reasonable basis to believe in the validity of the warrants and in the lawfulness of their actions in executing the warrants. They are entitled to qualified immunity for the personal capacity claims brought against them under the Bivens doctrine.

SCOTUS Denies Cert in Two Indian Law Cases

Here is today’s order list.

The Court denied cert in Dupris v. Procter and Hicks v. Hudson Insurance.

Supreme Court Cert Petition in FTCA/Bivens Claims against Federal & Tribal Officers

Here is the petition in Dupris v. Proctor:

Dupris Cert Petition

Questions presented:

1. Whether this Court should resolve a split among the circuit courts of appeal, created by the Ninth Circuit panel decision in this matter, as to whether federal agents have “discretion” to arrest an individual without probable cause, for purposes of sovereign immunity under the “discretionary function” doctrine of the Federal Tort Claims Act?
2. Whether this Court should resolve a split among the circuit courts of appeal as to whether a law enforcement officer’s pre-arrest consultation with a prosecutor, standing alone, entitles the officer to qualified immunity?
3. Given the federal agents’ testimony that there were not any “positive identifications” of Petitioners, contradictory to what the agents told the tribal prosecutor, whether this Court should remand pursuant to this Court’s recent holding in Tolan v. Cotton, — U.S. –, 134 S.Ct. 1861 (2014), to ensure that the Court of Appeals properly viewed all evidence in the light most favorable to the Petitioners?

Lower court materials here.

Ninth Circuit Rejects FTCA/Bivens Claims against Federal & Tribal Officers

Here is the unpublished opinion in Dupris v. McDonald.

An excerpt:

In 2006, Jesse Dupris and Jeremy Reed (the “Plaintiffs”) were arrested on tribal charges for assaults they did not commit. In 2008, they commenced this action against the members of the federal Task Force that arrested them and the United States under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b)(1), 2671-2680. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and Plaintiffs have appealed. We affirm, concluding that: (1) the Plaintiffs’ claims against two members of the Task Force are barred by the applicable statute of limitations; (2) the remaining individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity; and (3) the United States is immune from liability under the FTCA pursuant to the discretionary function exception.

Briefs and lower court materials here.

Federal Court Allows Leave to Amend Civil Rights Complaint against Salt River Police re: Medicinal Marijuana Confiscation

Here are the materials so far in Phillips v. Salt River Police Dep’t (D. Ariz.):

DCT Order

Phillips Complaint

Table Mountain Rancheria Prevails In Membership Dispute Before The Ninth Circuit

Materials in Lewis v. Salazar here:

12 – Appellants’ Opening Brief

24 – Secretary Salazar’s Answering Brief

26 – Tribal Defendants Answering Brief

34.2 – Appellants Corrected Reply Brief

52.1 – Memorandum Opinion

NYTs Article on Oravec v. Cole

Here.

An excerpt:

Two families from the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana can proceed with a lawsuit against an F.B.I. agent that accuses him of failing to properly investigate crimes against American Indians on and around the reservation, the United States Supreme Court has ruled.

Ninth Circuit materials here.