Denezpi v. United States — Cert Petition re: CFR Courts as Federal Courts

Here is the petition and appendix:

Cert Petition


Lower court materials here.

Question presented:

Is the Court of Indian Offenses of Ute Mountain Ute Agency a federal agency such that Merle Denezpi’s conviction in that court barred his subsequent prosecution in a United States District Court for a crime arising out of the same incident?


Federal Opposition Brief

Federal Court Rejects Fourth Amendment and Double Jeopardy Challenges to Federal Prosecution for Robbery at Red Lake Subsequent to Tribal Prosecution

Here are the materials in United States v. Stately (D. Minn.):

1 Indictment

39 Motion to Suppress

40 Motion to Suppress

43 Motion to Suppress

50 Government’s Response

52 Government’s Response

118 Motion to Dismiss

129 Memorandum re Motion to Suppress

130 Memorandum re Motion to Suppress

134 Memorandum re Motion to Dismiss

138 Government’s Response to 118

139 Government’s Response to 40

140 Government’s Response to 43

141 Memorandum in Support of 118

142 Magistrate Report

144 Objections

148 Government’s Response

149 Objections

153 Government’s Response

158 Reply

161 DCT Order

Oral Argument Transcript in Case on Whether the Dual Sovereignty Exception to the Double Jeopardy Clause Should Continue

Worth a read. The federal government’s attorney’s representations about tribal criminal jurisdiction and tribal prerogatives are . . . interesting.

Here is the transcript in Gamble v. United States.

The docket page is here.

The NWIRC and NCAI brief is here: NIWRC Amicus Brief

Ninth Circuit Briefs in U.S. v. Bearcomesout — Federal Defenders Seek End of the Dual Sovereignty Exception for Indian Tribes

Here are the briefs in United States v. Bearcomesout:

Opening Brief

Answer Brief


An excerpt from the opening brief:

Because the Northern Cheyenne Constitution cedes almost unfettered authority to the federal government, Ms. Bearcomesout’s prior conviction in Tribal Court bars subsequent federal prosecution in U.S. District Court as a violation of the Double Jeopardy clause. What is more, the frequency of litigation attacking identical and successive prosecutions says something about the inherent unfairness and counter intuitive legal analysis imposed on what seems to be a simple constitutional prohibition. Perhaps it is time to eschew the ‘separate sovereign’ concept altogether; because the harm it is intended to proscribe is hardly served by current separate sovereigns doctrine. See Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, 579 U.S ___, 136 S.Ct. 1863, 1877 (2016) (Ginsberg, J., concurring).

Montana Supreme Court Reverses Conviction of CSKT Member

Here are the materials in State v. James:

State v James Opinion

James Opening Brief

Montana Brief

James Reply Brief

Interesting double jeopardy case, in that Montana law recognizes tribal court convictions for state double jeopardy purposes.

New Mexico Court of Appeals Holds that Tribal Court Child Custody Case Does Not Preempt State Case

Here is the opinion in State v. Diggs, in which the court rejected a double jeopardy argument. An excerpt:

Defendants Jonathan Diggs and Rebecca Miller appeal in advance of their trial from the district court’s denial of their motions to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds. We consider whether the New Mexico Constitution and double jeopardy statute prohibit the State from prosecuting Defendants for child abuse because the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) previously investigated Defendants for child abuse and the Acoma Pueblo tribal court previously held a custody hearing on the same issues. We hold that there was no double jeopardy violation and affirm.