Iowa SCT Affirms State Criminal Jurisdiction; Magistrate Judge Richard Vander Mey Had Barred Tribe/State from Invoking Jurisdiction of His Court [updated]

Here is the opinion in State v. Stanton:


An excerpt:

Upon review of the complaints, a magistrate concluded that recent federal legislation removed state jurisdiction for crimes committed on the Settlement. As a result, the magistrate dismissed the three pending misdemeanor charges and assessed costs against the Meskwaki Nation. The magistrate further advised that the Tama County Sheriff should consult with the county attorney to determine whether prisoners such as the defendant should even be received and retained in custody by the Tama County Sheriff. The district court further stated that tribal police officers should be instructed by tribal judicial officers to cease and desist from charging persons with violations of the Iowa Code as such charges “will only serve to clog state courts and result in the imposition of court costs upon the Meskwaki Tribe for cases which must be dismissed.”




Resistance to Application for Discretionary Review [Vander Mey pleading]

Sac and Fox Amicus Brief

US Amicus Brief

Federal and tribal amicus briefs not available. If anyone has them, please send to me. Would also love to read the lower court opinion.

Judge Vander Mey is a repeat player on TT. In 2011, mad about the Iowa Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision, he refused to accept the tribe’s immunity defenses in civil actions. He was removed from the bench for a time, but then reinstated.

In 2017, Vander Mey again refused to acknowledge tribal sovereignty in another civil suit.

State Supreme Court Outcomes: Iowa and Nebraska

Here are two grain belt states, Iowa and Nebraska.

In Iowa, tribal interests are successful in 31 percent of cases

In Nebraska, tribal interests are successful in 33 percent of cases.

Here are the Iowa cases:

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News Article on Need for Greater Race and Gender Diversity on Iowa’s Supreme Court

Here. An excerpt:

The lone female finalist is Angela Onwauchi-Willig, 37, a University of Iowa law professor who was admitted to practice law in Iowa the day the finalists were announced. Onwauchi-Willig, who is also the only minority nominee, is admitted as a lawyer for state and federal courts in Ohio, and the federal appeals-court circuit that includes Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

During her interview with the commission, Onwuachi-Willig pointed to her experience as a scholar but also urged commission members to consider candidates who reflect the gender and race of Iowa’s population. Her research and teaching interests at the law school span a range of family law, employment discrimination, feminist legal theory and evidence.

Women account for roughly one-fourth of all state court judges and magistrates in Iowa, according to judicial branch statistics. None of the current Iowa Supreme Court justices are women; five of the nine-member Court of Appeals judges are women.

By contrast, nearly one-third of the nation’s 340 state supreme court justices are women, according to the National Center for State Courts. Twenty females serve as chief justices, and five supreme courts – California, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia – have a majority of women members.


Two State Supreme Court Cases Decided This Week

The first, In the Interest of N.N.E., an Iowa Supreme Court case involving the Tyme Maidu Tribe in California, struck down a portion of the Iowa ICWA.

The second, Langdeau v. Langdeau, a South Dakota Supreme Court case involving an Indian Country divorce proceeding, rejected exclusive tribal court jurisdiction over the case.

Iowa Supreme Court Orders Transfer of Indian Child Case to Sac and Fox Tribal Court

Here is the opinion In the Interest of N.V.

And a news article about the decision from the Des Moines Register. An excerpt:

The Iowa Supreme Court said Friday the custody of two children whose parents had been in jail may be transferred to the tribal court of the Sac and Fox Tribe.

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