Oklahoma Tribes Sue Interior over Gaming Compact Approvals

Here is the complaint in Cherokee Nation v. Dept. of the Interior (D.D.C.):

1 Complaint

1-1 Comanche Gaming Compact

1-2 Otoe-Missouria Gaming Compact


26 Amended Complaint

Federal Court Holds Oklahoma Gaming Compacts Automatically Extend to 2035

Here are the materials in Cherokee Nation v. Stitt (W.D. Okla.):

125-1 Tribes Motion for Summary Judgment

126 State Motion for Summary Judgment

128 Wichita Tribes Motion for Summary Judgment

140 Tribes Response

141 State Response

142 State Response to Wichita Tribes

145 Wichita Tribes Response

149 DCT Order

Case tag here.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation and Muscogee (Creek) Nation Intervene in Oklahoma Gaming Compact Suit

Here are the updated materials in Cherokee Nation v. Stitt (W.D. Okla.):

21 Citizen Potawatomi Nation Motion to Intervene

21-1 Complaint in Intervention

23 Muscogee (Creek) Nation Motion to Intervene

23-1 Complaint in Intervention

28 DCT Order Granting Motions to Intervene

Prior posts here.

Federal Court Rejects Tribal Court Exhaustion in Death Benefit Action

Here are the materials in Texas Life Insurance Company v. Raper (W.D. Okla.):

1-7 Tribal Court Petition

14 Raper Motion to Dismiss

16 Response

18 DCT Order

Can’t be sure because I only skimmed it, but it looks apparent the court ignored the tribal court exhaustion doctrine and proceeded directly to the jurisdictional analysis.

Split Virginia SCT Applies Best Interests of Child Analysis in ICWA Case

Here is the opinion in Dinwiddie Dept. of Social Services v. Nunnally.

The dissenters point out that 14 (now 15) state courts have addressed whether to use the best interests of the child analysis:

Most states that have confronted the issue we face today have held that a “best interests” consideration is inappropriate under the “good cause” analysis in Section 1911(b). Eight states have conclusively adopted this position, including Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Texas.2Link to the text of the note People ex rel. J.L.P., 870 P.2d 1252, 1258 (Colo. Ct. App. 1994); In re Armell, 550 N.E.2d 1060, 1065-66 (Ill. App. Ct. 1990); In re Child of: R.L.Z. and R.G.L, 2009 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1015, at *14-16 (Minn. Ct. App. 2009) (unpublished); C.E.H. v. R.H., 837 S.W.2d 947, 954 (Mo. Ct. App. 1992); In re Interest of Zylena R. v. Elise M., 825 N.W.2d 173, 184-86 (Neb. 2012) (overruling its decision to allow a “best interests” consideration in In re Interest of C.W., 479 N.W.2d 105 (Neb. 1992)); In re Guardianship of Ashley Elizabeth R., 863 P.2d 451, 456 (N.M. Ct. App. 1993); In re Interest of A.B. v. K.B., 663 N.W.2d 625, 633-34 (N.D. 2003); Yavapai-Apache Tribe, 906 S.W.2d at 169-71.

Only a minority of six states allow a “best interests” consideration in the Section 1911(b) “good cause” analysis, including Arizona, California, Indiana, Montana, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.3Link to the text of the note In re Maricopa Cnty. Juvenile Action No. JS-8287, 828 P.2d 1245, 1251 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1991); In re Alexandria P., 228 Cal. App. 4th 1322, 1355-56 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014); In re Adoption of T.R.M., 525 N.E.2d 298, 308 (Ind. 1988); In re T.S., 801 P.2d 77, 79-80 (Mont. 1990); Carney v. Moore (In re N.L.), 754 P.2d 863, 869 (Okla. 1988); In re Guardianship of J.C.D., 686 N.W.2d 647, 650 (S.D. 2004).

Four other state courts have acknowledged the issue, but avoided resolving it because the issue was not properly before the court. Ex parte C.L.J., 946 So.2d 880, 893-94 (Ala. Civ. App. 2006); In re C.R.H., 29 P.3d 849, 854 n.24 (Alaska 2001); In re J.L.A., 2007 Kan. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1154, at *2-6 (Kan. Ct. App. 2007) (unpublished); In re Guardianship of J.O., 743 A.2d 341, 348-49 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2000).

Fodder for a law student note….

Kate posted the lower appellate court decision here.

Gaming Compact dispute, sales tax and liquor disputes between the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and the State of Oklahoma

Here are the materials in In re Revocation of Licenses/Permits of Citizen Potawatomi Nation (Okla. Tax Commission):

Stipulations-filed with exhibits

OTC opening brief filed

CPN Motion to Dismiss or Stay

OTC Response

L – Doerflinger – LeClaire 10-24-14

L – Doerflinger 10-24-14

L – Miller 10-24-14

Commentary: Tribes Lead Efforts to Implement UN Declaration

by Robert T. Coulter*

Photo for Robert T. Coulter
Robert T. Coulter is Executive Director of the Indian Law Resource Center. He is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and has more than 30 years of experience in the field of Indian law.

It has been just a year since President Obama announced the Administration’s support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and promised action to implement at least some of those rights.  Across the country, tribal governments are seizing the Declaration and using it creatively to protect their lands and resources, and especially their rights to cultural and sacred sites.

For example, the Navajo Nation has used the Declaration in its efforts to protect the San Francisco Peaks, and the Seneca Nation has pointed out Article 37 (“Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties”) in its efforts to resolve a 60-year occupation of Seneca territory by the New York State Thruway that violates the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua. Continue reading

Angela Riley Elevated to Chief Justice of Citizen Potawatomi Nation Supreme Court

Congrats, Chief Justice Riley!

From Potawatomi.org:

Meeting in Shawnee, Oklahoma for their 12th annual Family Reunion Festival, Citizen Potawatomi Nation members have retained Linda Capps for a new four-year term as the Nation’s Vice Chairman. CPN voters also filled four seats in the tribe’s 16-member legislature and filled out the ranks of the CPN’s judiciary.

* * *

CPN voters retained CPN member Angela Riley, [UCLA law prof and Director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center], as a Supreme Court Justice and elevated her to the post of Chief Justice. She replaces G. William Rice, who has held the post since the mid-1980s. Robert Coulter, Robert Coffey, and James White were also retained on the Supreme Court.

Judge Phil Lujan, who helped establish the Citizen Potawatomi Nation court system in the mid-1980s and who has been a CPN District judge since the days of the Court of Indian Offenses, won retention as the Nation’s Chief District Court Judge.

* * *

Section 1983 Claim against Tribal Police Dismissed

Here are the materials in Ouart v. Fleming (W.D. Okla.):

Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment

Co-Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss

Plaintiff’s Response

DCT Order Granting Motion

Angela Riley to Join UCLA Law & American Indian Studies

Angela Riley, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and one of its appellate justices, and a tenured law professor at Southwestern Law School, will join the UCLA Law School faculty as a tenured professor. Professor Riley also will be Director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center.

This is outstanding news for Indian Country and American Indian studies!