Here are the materials in Barbre v. Whitten (E.D. Okla.):
Download the documents and materials in the matter of The Cherokee Nation v. Jewell et al, 14-cv-00428 (E.D. Okla. May 31, 2017):
- Doc. 67 – Plaintiff’s Merits Brief
- Doc. 77 – Intervenor-Defendants’ Response Merits Brief
- Doc. 78 – Cherokee Nation Reply Brief
- Doc. 79-1 – Federal Defendants’ Response Merits Brief
- Doc. 80 – Order
The Court ruled a 2011 BIA decision approving an amended land into trust application of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee was arbitrary and capricious. On remand, the BIA must obtain Cherokee Nation’s consent to the application per its treaty rights over former reservation land, give full consideration to the jurisdictional conflicts between Cherokee Nation and UKB, the resulting administrative burdens on the BIA, and the effects of Carcieri.
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Here are the materials in Cherokee Nation v. Johnson & Johnson (E.D. Okla.):
Here are the materials in Life Insurance Company of North America v. Hudson Insurance Company (E.D. Okla.):
LINA argues that tribal exhaustion does not apply to an ERISA case. The exhaustion of tribal remedies requirement was modified in El Paso Natural Gas Company v. Neztsosie, 526 U.S. 473 (1999). In that case, the Supreme Court held that the tribal exhaustion requirement did not apply to a case involving the Price-Anderson Act, a statute with a broad preemptive scheme. LINA argues that the Northern District of Oklahoma has since held that like the Price-Anderson Act at issue in Neztsosie, ERISA preempts state and tribal court claims “related to benefit plans falling under its purview” and concluded that abstention would be inappropriate. Vandever v. Osage Nation Enterprise, Inc., No. 06-CV-380-GKF-TLW, 2009 WL 702776, at *5 (March 16, 2009 N.D. Okla.) (citing 29 U.S.C. § 1144). See also Coppe v. Sac & Fox Casino Healthcare Plan, No. 14-2598-RDR, 2015 WL 1137733 (March 13, 2015 D. Kansas). This court agrees.
Hudson argues, however, that Vandever is not controlling in this case because suits between insurers for reimbursement of benefits paid are not pre-empted by ERISA. Hudson is correct. Complete preemption under ERISA “is limited to claims brought under § 502(a), and that provision, in turn, is limited by its terms to claims ‘by a participant or beneficiary’ of an ERISA-regulated plan ‘to recover benefits due to him under the terms of his plan, to enforce his rights under the terms of the plan or to clarify his rights to future benefits under the terms of the plan.’” Hansen v. Harper Excavating, Inc., 641 F.3d 1216, 1221-22 (10th Cir. 2011) (citing 29 U.S.C. § 1132 (a)(1)(B)).
Here are the materials in Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma v. Occidental Fire & Insurance Co. (E.D. Okla.):
Occidental characterizes the issue in this case as whether it may assert or waive the Nation’s sovereign immunity in connection with insurance coverage on a claim made on the policy. It has not been suggested that Congress provided authority for an insurer such as Occidental to abrogate, waive, or otherwise assert the sovereign immunity of an Indian nation through appropriate legislation. Consequently, the source of the waiver must be the Nation itself. The sole unequivocal statement of the relationship between the Nation and the insurers is the policy itself. Indeed, Occidental recognizes this fact by relying upon certain provisions within the policy to argue the Nation has specifically granted it a waiver or control over the assertion of sovereign immunity. The interpretation of the terms of the policy as a contract is governed exclusively by state law.
Here are the materials in Fife v. Moore (E.D. Okla.):
The court concluded that the Muscogee District Court had no jurisdiction to prosecute tribal members for theft against the tribal government because the crime did not occur in Indian country (which until recently would have been considered preposterous).
This case implicates two important issues (one at Muscogee and one involving many Oklahoma tribes). The first is the continuing dispute over the tribal district court at Muscogee (see our posts here and here). The other involves Indian Country in Oklahoma, the subject of a cert petition involving the Supreme Court (most recent post here).