D.C. Circuit Briefs in Moncrief v. Dept. of Interior/Solonex v. Bernhardt

Here:

US Voluntary Dismissal

Intervenor Appellant Brief

Blackfeet Amicus Brief

Solonex Brief

Western Energy Alliance Amicus Brief

Interior Reply

Lower court materials:

1 Complaint

19 Moncrief MSJ

21 Federal Cross MSJ

24 Intervenors Cross MSJ

26 Moncrief Reply

28 Federal Reply

29 Intervenors Reply

37 DCT Order

Montana Supreme Court ICWA Notice Case

Here

¶28 In this case, CPS Lebrun’s testimony that an unidentified person orally confirmed that “they are not eligible, just they can only be descendent members” does not satisfy the Department’s ICWA burden. As a direct result of the Department’s failure to satisfy this burden—and likely assuming the Department had, prior to filing its Notice of No ICWA Involvement, followed up with formal inquiry with the Blackfeet Tribe as CPS Lebrun testified he would—the District Court proceeded to termination without conclusive determination from the Tribe. No documentation or testimony of an authorized tribal representative either dispelled or confirmed the District Court’s and Department’s belief that the children were not Indian children as defined by ICWA. Under the circumstances of this case, we hold the District Court erred by proceeding to terminate Mother’s rights to D.E. and A.E. without a conclusive tribal determination of their tribal membership status and eligibility.
¶29 Accordingly, we hold the District Court abused its discretion in terminating Mother’s parental rights without a conclusive tribal determination of tribal membership status and enrollment eligibility. We reverse and remand for an appropriate threshold determination of whether D.E. and A.E. are Indian children based on a conclusive tribal determination of tribal membership and eligibility in the Blackfeet Tribe. Further, if D.E. and A.E. are conclusively identified as Indian children subject to the requirements of ICWA, the District Court shall hold further proceedings as may be necessary to meet the evidentiary burdens of ICWA.

AppellantBriefDE
AppelleeBriefDE
ReplyBriefDE

Friday Job Announcements

Job vacancies are posted on Friday. Some announcements might still appear throughout the week. If you would like your Indian law job posted on Turtle Talk, please email indigenous@law.msu.edu.

Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP

2018 Summer Law Clerks. Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP (“FPM”) is a nationwide firm dedicated to the practice of Federal Indian Law.  FPM represents Native American tribes and organizations in a wide spectrum of areas including business transactions, litigation, and governmental affairs. FPM is seeking applications from second year law students for 2018 Summer Law Clerks for offices in Louisville, Colorado; Omaha, Nebraska; and Sacramento, California. Applicants must be enrolled in an ABA accredited law school.  Experience or coursework in tribal and Federal Indian Law is required and/or preferred  at most FPM office locations. Applicants must also possess excellent analytical, research and communication skills, and the ability to work well independently and as a team member in a fast-paced environment.  FPM offers a competitive hourly wage for a 10 – 12-week summer position.

Applicants should e-mail a cover letter, resume, a writing sample, and law school transcripts to Ann Hacker at ahacker@ndnlaw.com no later than September 30, 2017.  The cover letter must indicate preference for each FPM office location by completing the chart below (i.e.: #1 is for the top location preference followed by 2, 3, etc. If you are not applying for consideration at a particular office location please note N/A). The cover letter should be addressed to Ann Hacker. If your preferred office location includes our Colorado office a separate cover letter needs to be addressed to the attention of Thomas W. Fredericks.

Louisville, CO
Omaha, NE
Sacramento, CA

Department of Justice

Assistant United States Attorney, District of Colorado. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is currently interviewing for an Assistant United States Attorney to serve in Durango, Colorado, as part of the Criminal Division. Closes Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

National Indian Child Welfare Association

Executive Communications Manager, Portland O.R. responsible for promoting NICWA’s public image and visibility through a variety of communications media and provides communications support to the executive director and NICWA staff. Closes Monday, October 2, 2017.

Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska

Appellate Court Administrator, Juneau, A.K. Responsible for developing and managing the Appellate Court expansion project for the Tlingit & Haida Tribal Court, which will include code drafting, hiring and administratively supervising consultants for drafting statutes, policies and procedures; working closely with the Judiciary Committee and Judges; and providing administrative support for the development of the Tlingit & Haida Trial Courts and other Southeast Alaska Tribal Courts.

National Indian Gaming Commission

FOIA Officer, Office of the General Counsel, Washington, D.C. Oversees the Commission’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act (PA) program. Responsible for directing the work of the FOIA office staff and developing program policy. Closes Thursday, October 5, 2017.

Ain Dah Yung Center

Indian Child Welfare Compliance Monitor, St. Paul, M.N. Provides court monitoring, education and outreach, and advocacy to ensure court compliance.

Sonosky Chambers Sachse Miller & Monkman, LLP

Attorney, Anchorage, A.K. The Sonosky Chambers firm specializes in representing Native American interests in a wide range of work involving tribal sovereignty and self-governance, health care, complex litigation, appellate and Supreme Court work, legislative affairs, and a wide range of additional matters. Additional information about our firm is available at www.sonosky.com. Interested applicants should have strong credentials and a commitment to representing Native American interests. One to four years’ experience is preferred but all qualified applicants will be considered. Please send a letter of interest, resume, writing sample and transcripts to sue@sonosky.net. All applications will be kept confidential.

Blackfeet Tribe

Staff Attorney, Browning, M.T. Responsible for general litigation matters, employment relations, legislative advocacy, and assisting tribal programs. It is preferred that an applicant have at least five (5) years experience in the practice of law. The applicant must be licensed in the State of Montana and produce a Certificate of Good Standing with the Montana State Bar. The applicant should have demonstrated interest and knowledge of federal Indian Law, administrative law, and trial advocacy.  The position requires personal integrity and the ability to produce timely and accurate written work.  Full-time with salary negotiable.  Applicant must submit to a criminal background check and pass a pre-employment drug screen. Please send a resume, three (3) references and a short writing sample to Blackfeet Legal Department, P. O. Box 849, Browning MT 59417 7777 or email blackfeetlegal@gmail.com. The position will remain open until filled. If you have questions or need further information, please contact the Blackfeet Legal Department at (406) 338-7777.

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Tribal Health Attorney, Anchorage, A.K. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium anticipates expanding it legal team to support new and exciting initiatives to improve health care quality and access for Alaska Native patients and communities. We are seeking additional legal expertise to assist with new and developing partnerships and transactions, health care and medical staff issues, personnel matters, information technology and security issues, and regulatory compliance.

Ideal candidates will have at least seven years of experience in health law or another relevant field; an understanding of “Indian law,” the intersection between medical staff and employment issues, and government contracting; demonstrated experience working for complex clients in a team-oriented environment; exquisitely good judgment; and the ability to reconcile competing legal principles to assist ANTHC in finding innovative ways to achieve its vision that “Alaska Natives are the healthiest people in the world.”

The Consortium works with Alaska’s Tribal health organizations and over 229 federally recognized Tribes to administer the Alaska Tribal Health System. The Consortium partners with Southcentral Foundation to co-manage the 150+ bed Alaska Native Medical Center, which is a Level II Trauma Center and has achieved Magnet status in recognition of nursing excellence. ANTHC also provides community and environmental health services; constructs health clinics and water and sanitation systems in rural Alaska; develops and deploys telehealth technology; administers an epidemiology center; develops training for allied health providers; and provides technical assistance and support to other members of the Alaska Tribal Health System.

The Consortium’s main office is located in Anchorage, Alaska. In accordance with federal law, ANTHC applies Native Preference in hiring and contracting. Learn more about ANTHC at http://www.anthctoday.org/ and ANMC at http://www.anmc.org/. For more information, please direct inquiries and resumes to Nacole Heslep, General Counsel at ndheslep@anthc.org with “Tribal Attorney B” in the subject line.

Previous Friday Job Announcements: 9/8/17

Friday Job Announcements

Job vacancies are posted on Friday. Some announcements might still appear throughout the week. If you would like your Indian law job posted on Turtle Talk, please email indigenous@law.msu.edu.

Echo Hawk & Olsen, PLLC

Associate, Indian law practice group. A small firm based in Idaho with a regional Indian law practice (Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona) dedicated to representing Native American interests is recruiting an Associate.  The Associate will work closely with Mark Echo Hawk in representing multiple tribes on matters involving federal Indian law, tribal law, litigation, ISDEAA matters, treaty rights, jurisdiction, taxation, TERO, economic development, etc.  Preferably the candidate has at least one year of experience practicing Indian law.  Interested applicants should send the following a cover letter, resume, transcript, and writing sample to Mark Echo Hawk at mark@echohawk.com no later than June 30, 2017.

Blackfeet Tribe

In House Staff-Attorney. Will represent the Tribe in administrative and civil litigation proceedings in federal, state and tribal forums. Primarily responsible for general litigation matters, employment relations, legislative advocacy, and assisting tribal programs.  It is preferred that an applicant have at least five (5) years experience in the practice of law.  The applicant must be licensed in the State of Montana and produce a Certificate of Good Standing with the Montana State Bar. The applicant should have demonstrated interest and knowledge of federal Indian Law, administrative law, and trial advocacy.  The position requires personal integrity and the ability to produce timely and accurate written work.  Salary will be negotiable.  Applicant must submit to a criminal background check and pass a pre-employment drug screen.

Please send a resume, three (3) references, and a short writing sample to Blackfeet Legal Department, P.O. Box 849, Browning, MT, 59417-7777 or email blackfeetlegal@gmail.com.  The position will remain open until filled.  If you have questions or need further information, please contact the Blackfeet Legal Department at (406) 338-7777.

Previous Friday Jobs Announcement:6/16/17

ACHP invites public comment in order to resolve 33-year permit suspension for oil well on Blackfeet Reservation

US D-D.C. Court order in the matter of Solonex LLC v. Sally Jewell, et. al, here.

DOI Schedule here.

ACHP invitation to comment here.

On July 27, 2015, the D.C. District Court ruled the Department of the Interior (DOI) is violating federal law in delaying decision on a natural gas exploratory permit that has been suspended since 1985.  The DOI was given 21 days to submit a schedule for the final resolution of the suspension and on Monday that schedule was released.  Highlights include:

  • The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) to gather comments to give to the Secretary of Agriculture before September 21, 2015.
  • The Forest Service will review the comments and submit its recommendation on the potential for adverse effects to historic properties and ideas on mitigating effects to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) by October 31, 2015.
  • BLM has to make a final decision to lift the suspension or initiate cancellation by November 31, 2015.
  • Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act could delay conclusion until July 15, 2017.

ACHP has scheduled its 3-hour public meeting for Wednesday, September 2, 2015, in Choteau, Montana.  Designated representatives from all parties, including the Blackfeet Tribe, will speak first then comments will come from those who report their name and organization before the meeting.  Any other comments will be heard as time permits.  ACHP is accepting written comments until 5PM EDT on Friday, September 4, 2015.

If you would like to officially speak at the meeting or write a comment:

Email:    www.106permittodrill@achp.gov
Fax:       (202) 517-6381
Mail:      Ms Katry Harris
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
401 F St NW Suite 308
Washington DC 20001 2637

Federal Court Dismisses Town of Browning v. Sharp, States Town Has Tribal Court Remedy

Here are the materials in Town of Browning v. Sharp (D. Mont.):

71 Sharp 12b1 Motion to Dismiss

73 Sharp 12b6 Motion to Dismiss

75 Sharp 12b7 Motion to Dismiss

95 Town Response to 71

96 Town Response to 73

97 Town Response to 75

115 Sharp Reply in Support of 75

156 Magistrate Recommendation

162 DCT Order

An excerpt:

No adequate alternative forum exists to address the Town of Browning’s ex Parte Young action. The Blackfeet Tribal Court appears to represent an adequate alternative forum, however, to address the ongoing dispute between the Blackfeet Tribe and the Town of Browning. Indeed, in the Blackfeet Tribal Court, the Town of Browning can litigate against the Blackfeet Tribe directly rather than through an ex Parte Young action. Further, the Town of Browning appears to have moderated its position regarding the relief that it seeks. (Doc. 159). The Town of Browning appears to seek some reasonable compensation from the Blackfeet Tribe for use of the Town of Browning’s water main to deliver water to utility customers. The Town of Browning can seek and obtain this relief as a counterclaim in the breach of contract claim currently pending in the Blackfeet Tribal Court. Although the Town of Browning has challenged the Blackfeet Tribal Court’s jurisdiction over it on the grounds of sovereign immunity, the existence of a contract between the parties appears to confer jurisdiction on the Blackfeet Tribal Court. Montana v. United States, 450 U.S. 544, 565 (1981). An alternative forum exists for the Town of Browning to obtain the relief it seeks.

After weighing the factors listed in Rule 19(b), this Court has determined that this case should not proceed in the absence of the Blackfeet Tribe, a required party. The potential prejudice to the Blackfeet Tribe far outweighs the harm to the Town of Browning. The Blackfeet Tribal Court represents an alternative forum for the Town of Browning to address its underlying dispute with the Blackfeet Tribe.

Materials on the preliminary injunction stage of this litigation are here.

Federal Court Denies Town’s Motion for Injunction against Blackfeet Tribe Officials in Utility Dispute

Here are the materials in Town of Browning v. Sharp (D. Mont.):

127 Motion for PI

129 Response

131 Reply

150 Magistrate Report

153 Objections

155 Reply to Objections

157 DCT Order Denying PI

Prior post here.

Suit for Injunctive Relief against Blackfeet Elected Officials over Utility MOA Dispute May Proceed

Here are the materials in Town of Browning v. Sharp (D. Mont.):

71 12b1 Motion to Dismiss

73 12b6 Motion to Dismiss

75 12b7 Motion to Dismiss

95 Response to 12b1 Motion

96 response to 12b6 Motion

97 Response to 12b7 Motion

115 Reply in Support of 12b7 Motion

123 DCT Order

140 Magistrate Report

144 Objection to Magistrate Report

148 DCT Order

An excerpt:

Defendants and Plaintiff have not objected to Judge Johnston’s Findings and Recommendations on any other grounds. The Court finds no clear error in Judge Johnston’s Findings and Recommendations, and adopts them in full. A plaitiff may seek only prospective, injunctive relief under the doctrine of Ex Parte Young. Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. Vaughn, 509 F.3d 1092 (9th Cir.2007). Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, exemplary damages, treble damages, and costs and attorney fees for counts 2–5. Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted. Dismissal of counts 2–5 is appropriate pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Plaintiff seeks prospective, injunctive relief in count 1. Defendants have failed to demonstrate that Plaintiff has not stated a claim for which relief can be granted in count 1.