Connecticut Court Holds Tribal Business is Immune from State Dept. of Banking Authority

Here are the materials in Great Plains Lending LLC v. State of Connecticut Dept. of Banking (Conn. Super.):


Amended Complaint

Department’s Motion to Dismiss

Great Plains Objection to MTD

Superior Ct Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

Great Plains Brief on the Merits

Department’s Brief on the Merits

Great Plains Reply

Superior Ct Order Vacating Commissioner Order

Schaghticoke Indians Want $600 Million For Lost Land

Link: Hartford Courant article by Kenneth R. Gosselin

Download(PDF): Complaint in re Schaghticoke Tribal Nation v. State of Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2016)

Excerpt from article:

In a lawsuit filed in Hartford on Thursday, the Kent tribe alleges the state took the land it was managing for the Schaghticokes — eventually amounting to 2,000 acres — without compensating the tribe. The lawsuit contends the tribe is owed at least $613 million, but the tribe says it expects that number to rise because it has not been able to determine the value of all the tracts.

Connecticut Superior Court (again) Acknowledges Tribal Immunity in Great Plains Lending v. State Dept. of Banking

Here are the materials:





By of background, in November 2015, the Connecticut Superior Court issued a decision in the Otoe-Missouria Tribe’s favor, remanding a prior state agency decision which purported to subject the Tribe’s lending entities and Chairman Shotton to civil and injunctive damages.  Following this ruling, the Connecticut Department of Banking attempted to run afoul of the Court’s prior decision and potentially subject the Tribe to participating in its administrative proceedings through discovery and possible depositions.

On August 31, 2016, the Connecticut Superior Court rejected this attempt and issued another ruling the Tribe’s favor and reaffirming its decision from November 2016 and granting the Tribe’s most recent challenge by issuing another strong decision in its favor.  In doing so, the Court explicitly stated that the Tribe’s rights were “substantially prejudiced” as a result of the Department’s actions.


Otoe-Missouria Tribal Chairman Brings Civil Rights Action against Connecticut Dept. of Banking

Here is the complaint in Shotton v. Pitkin (W.D. Okla.):

1 Complaint

An excerpt:

Plaintiff brings this action as a result of unlawful enforcement actions taken by Defendants against Plaintiff and Defendants’ entry of a state administrative order imposing a civil penalty of $700,000 against Plaintiff in his individual capacity and unlawfully restraining his conduct without due process of law and in violation of his individual right to immunity as a tribal official.

Our post on a related suit in Connecticut Superior Court action is here.

Otoe-Missouria Tribal Lender Appeals Connecticut Dept. of Banking Fines

Here are the materials in Great Plains Lending LLC v. Connecticut Dept. of Banking (Conn. Super.):


Motion for TRO

News coverage here: “Oklahoma tribe appeals $1.5 million in payday lending fines.”

Gaming Facility Lease Dispute Dismissed from Conn. Courts

Here is the opinion in Big Bubba’s BBQ, LLC v. Mohegan Tribal Gaming Auth. (Conn. Super.) (PDF).

An excerpt:

As a matter of fact and of law, this court finds no waiver of sovereign immunity that would permit this court to proceed with this case.   More specifically, the court finds no such waiver as to a suit under Conn. Gen.Stat. § 47a–43, whether the trial be by court or jury (see Conn. Gen.Stat. § 47a–44 and § 47a–45), or as to the equitable relief sought in this case (see Conn. Gen.Stat. § 47a–45a(a), including restitution, and § 52–471 et seq., as to an injunction with or without bond) or as to any potential (but not pled) double damages claim (see Conn. Gen.Stat. § 47a–46).

Connecticut Trial Court Quashes Subpoena of Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Representatives

Here is the order in Davis v. Senibaldi (Conn. Sup. Ct.):

Crowder Subpoena Memo

The tribes and tribal reps are third parties to a dram shop action, and the court held that sovereign immunity required the quashing on the subpoena.

Connecticut Court Dismisses Dram Shop Action against Mohegans

Maybe another one to watch involving the state law question of whether tribal businesses are immune from Dram Shop actions. The case is Vanstaen-Holland v. Lavigne.