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

Update:

26 Amended Complaint

Federal Court Allows Civil Rights Suit against City of Lawton over Killing of Comanche Citizen [Christina Dawn Tahhahwah] in Jail

Here are the materials in Robinson v. City of Lawton (W.D. Okla.):

1 Complaint

92 Short and Turner MSJ

93 Gordon and Jenkins MSJ

95 City of Lawton MSJ

96 Adamson et al MSJ

105 Response to 92

106 Response to 96

108 Response to 95

113 Reply in Support of 95

114 Reply in Support of 96

115 Reply in Support of 92

123 DCT Order

Prior post here.

Friday Job Announcements

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

Senate Indian Affairs Committee

Policy Advisor/Counsel, Office of the Vice Chairman, Senator Tom Udall, Washington D.C. Covers legislative portfolio including economic development, law enforcement, energy, tax, and related issues impacting Indian Country. Additional duties include developing and executing legislative initiatives; monitoring legislative developments; conducting oversight; working with stakeholders; preparing materials for meetings, briefings, and hearings; and coordinating closely with senior staff and the Vice Chairman.  This position requires excellent communication, strong research and writing skills, as well as the ability to work well under pressure in a fast-paced environment.  Ideal candidate will have work experience in the legislative and/or executive branch, as well as extensive knowledge of, experience with, and/or contacts with Indian Country.  J.D. preferred but not required.  The Office is an equal employment opportunity employer and encourages individuals from all backgrounds to apply.  Please e-mail a cover letter and resume to SCIAresumes@indian.senate.gov.

U.S. Department of Justice

Task Force Member, Office on Violence Against Women, Washington D.C.  The U.S. Department of Justice is looking for tribal leaders to serve on a task force to advise us about research activities to help reduce violence against women in Indian country.  Task Force duties include:

  • Providing feedback on research and evaluation priorities, design strategies, protocol, and findings.
  • Assisting in disseminating results that influence policy and practice.
  • Drafting and reviewing reports and recommendations.

Members must be representatives of:

  • Tribal governments
  • National tribal domestic violence and sexual assault nonprofit organizations
  • National tribal organizations

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Special Magistrate (RFQ), Onamia, M.N. Hears court cases specifically every Monday, except for designated holidays, beginning in January 2018 to September 2019. Cases heard are primarily family law, truancy, domestic abuse, harassment, criminal arraignments; however, there may be other case types added throughout the term of contract. Resumes are due by Friday, December 18, 2017 by the end of business.

Comanche Nation

Chief District Judge, Lawton, O.K. Conducts court proceedings and issues all orders and papers incident thereto, in order to administer justice in all matters within the jurisdiction of the Comanche Nation Court. Deadline for submission is December 19, 2017 at 4:00pm CST. Proposals should be submitted in PDF format via email: shannonn@comanchenation.com. Sealed proposals will be received in person at Comanche Nation Administration Building, 584 NW Bingo Rd., Lawton, OK 73502 Attention: Grants Department.

Associate District Judge(2), Lawton, O.K. Handles, presides over and adjudicates all criminal, civil, juvenile, and traffic cases and litigation as assigned by the Chief District Judge within the jurisdiction of the Comanche Nation Court. Deadline for submission is December 19, 2017 at 4:00pm CST. Proposals should be submitted in PDF format via email: shannonn@comanchenation.com. Sealed proposals will be received in person at Comanche Nation Administration Building, 584 NW Bingo Rd., Lawton, OK 73502 Attention: Grants Department.

Elk River Law Office, PLLP

Associate Attorney, Billings, M.T. The firm seeks an experienced associate attorney with three-years legal experience in a civil law firm including Federal Indian law.  Current and former judicial law clerks with experience in administration of civil cases are encouraged to apply. All applicants must be licensed to practice law in Montana, and must have strong research and writing skills. Competitive salary based upon experience. Please send a resume, cover letter and three references to: Georgette Boggio, P.O. Box 928, Billings, Montana 59103, or you can submit your information by e-mail to gboggio@elkriverlaw.com.  All applications are confidential.

Nevada Legal Services

Staff Attorney, Indian Law Project, Reno, N.V. Will be handling criminal defense cases in Tribal Courts in northern Nevada and will do some civil representation in Tribal Courts in northern Nevada. Our staff attorney’s salary begins at $42,154 and goes up based upon your experience. We provide medical, dental, and vision insurance and you may participate in the 403(b) TDA. A great deal of travel with some over-night stays is required in this position. If you are interested in the position, send a resume, writing sample, and list of three references to: Roberta O’Hara, Human Resources at rohara@nlslaw.net.

Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah

Legal Counsel(RFP), Cedar City, U.T. The Tribe is seeking proposals for general and/or special Legal Counsel Services from one or more firms or individuals who can demonstrate proficient expertise in Tribal Governance, Economic Development, and Tribal Employment as needed.

Claremont Graduate University

Native American Fellowship, Claremont, C.A. CGU has recently received a grant from the US Department of Education that will allow twelve Native Americans (in two cohorts of six each) to receive a 100% tuition fellowship and a living stipend ($1400/month for 15 months) to support their earning of a k-12 teaching California teaching credential and master’s of education from Claremont Graduate University.  Given that the first cohort will start classes in May 2018, recruitment has already begun. Contact either Rachel Camacho, Rachel.Camacho2@cgu.edu, or DeLacy Ganley, DeLacy.Ganley@cgu.edu, if you are interested or have questions.

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Attorney, Division of Commerce, Durant, O.K. Primarily responsible for negotiating, writing, reviewing, summarizing, researching and executing a wide variety of agreements for business and internal support units. This will include service agreements, franchise agreements, organizational documents, marketing agreements, license agreements, real estate leases, confidentiality agreements, construction contracts and other general business contracts. Manage an array of general contractual and legal matters. Offer sound legal advice and counsel to Sr. Legal Director and internal clients on strategies, actions and decisions related to all such transactions and legal matters.

Other jobs posted this week:

Indian Child Welfare Attorney(RFP)(2), Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa (12/4/17)

Probate/Estate Planning Attorney(RFP)(2), Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa (12/4/17)

Previous Friday Job Announcements12/1/17

Trust Breach Claims by Nine Tribes Survives Motion to Dismiss

Here are the materials in Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate v. Jewell (D.C. District Court):

17 Amended Complaint

19 US Motion to Dismiss

22 Opposition

23 US Reply

27 DCT Order

Commentary on Two Different (Unpublished) Notice Cases from California

On average we receive around a case a day out of California that mentions ICWA, and usually in the notice context. We don’t post all of them, and the vast majority of them are unpublished. But over the last couple of days, we’ve received two that demonstrate the large inconsistencies across the state when it comes to determining if the child is an Indian child, and notice procedures. Neither of these cases are outliers from the hundreds that go up each year, other than the difference in treatment caught our eye. This also demonstrates the difficulty in identifying exactly where additional resources need to be dedicated to ICWA enforcement–it’s not on a fifty state level, it’s on a county-by-county level.

In the first, out of the First Appellate District (Del Norte County) mother says her grandma told her their family may be from the “Comanche Nation.” Notice went out to Comanche, and the Nation said the child was not eligible for enrollment. However, on appeal, the court found

As noted, the only information the Department provided for the maternal grandmother—Nina’s mother—was her name and an incomplete address (“Grant’s Pass,Oregon”). The record contains evidence,however, suggesting that with a minimal amount of inquiry, the Department would have been able to obtain additional information regarding the grandmother. First, the family was involved in a dependency proceeding when Nina was a minor. By its own admission, the Department reviewed that file as part of the instant proceeding and, at a very minimum, would have been able to glean the grandmother’s date of birth, which was unquestionably in the file. This directly refutes the Department’s claim that “there is no indication that the social worker left out any available information.”

***

It was incumbent upon the Department to interview her extended family members to obtain whatever further details it could about the family’s Native American heritage.

In the second case, out of the Fourth Appellate District (San Diego County), mother said her family was affiliated with the “Winnebago Sioux tribe in Decorah, Iowa.” The social worker talked to mother and grandmother about it, and found “no one in the family ever lived on a reservation, attended an Indian school, participated in Indian ceremonies or received services from an Indian health clinic.” The court found

We conclude that proper inquiry was conducted to determine whether K.P. was a Native American child within the meaning for ICWA. The court questioned mother and her mother concerning the family’s Native American heritage. According to these relatives, no family members had ever been registered or eligible for enrollment with a tribe and the court was not required to give notice.

In both cases, the claims were attenuated. But regardless, the claims received very different treatment between the two trial courts–in the first, where the Department did not do enough inquiry, notice at least went out to the Comanche Nation. In the second, no one notified Winnebago (nor Ho-Chunk, for that matter), nor allowed either Nation to determine whether this family might be related. And then on appeal, both received very different treatment from the appellate courts. In the first, the court had to do better notice. In the second, the court didn’t have to do any notice.

NYTs Book Reviews of New Work on Custer and Quanah Parker

From the Legal History Blog:

Also in the NY Times, a review of THE LAST STAND: Custer, Sitting Bull and the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Nathaniel Philbrick, and EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S. C. Gwynne.

Stewart v. Coffey — Tribal Gaming Employment Claims Dismissed

Here is the unpublished opinion by the Tenth Circuit, rejecting wrongful discharge claims under federal statutes and under Bivens, and affirming tribal immunity.

Here is the tribal brief: Comanche Brief.

Cohen v. Winkelman — Tenth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ICRA Claim against Tribal College

Here is the opinion, unpublished, from the Tenth Circuit. The court affirmed the dismissal of the claim, which was a claim of wrongful employment termination, on the basis of tribal sovereign immunity. The court specifically rejected the so-called Dry Creek Lodge exception.