Fourth Circuit Favors Tribal Immunity in Williams v. Big Picture Loans LLC

Here is the opinion.

Briefs here.

Fourth Circuit Briefs in Williams v. Big Picture Loans


appellant brief

williams appellee brief

center for responsible lending amicus brief

conference of tribal lending commissioners amicus brief

States Brief

ncai amicus brief

Redacted Reply Brief

Lower court materials here.

Materials in Williams v. Big Picture Loans LLC [Lac Vieux Desert Ojibwe Enterprise]

Here are the materials in Williams v. Big Picture Loans LLC (E.D. Va.):

23 big picture mtd jurisdiction

27 big picture mtd exhaustion

29 tribal officials mtd

83 opposition to 23

86 opposition to 27

87 opposition to 29

99 reply in support of 23

100 reply in support of 27

101 reply in support of 29

146 dct order

Update (4/17/19) — Here are materials in a related matter, Weddle v. Williams (D. Colo.):

1 Motion to Quash Subpoena

11 Motion to Transfer Motion

12 Response to Motion to Quash

17 Reply in Support of Motion to Quash

18 Response to Motion to Transfer

19 Third Party Motion to Intervene

20 Notice of Third Party Joinder

22 Reply in Support of Motion to Transfer

24 Response to Motion to Intervene

26 Third Party Reply

27 DCT Order Granting Motion to Transfer

Update (5/6/19) — Here are updated materials in Big Picture:





Federal Court Denies Immunity to Lac Vieux Desert Band’s Sovereign Lending Solutions Employee

Here are the materials in the matter of Pennachietti v. Mansfield, 17-cv-02582 (E. Penn. Dec. 11, 2017):

Link to deja vu suit.

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Suit by Borrower’s Suit against Assignee of Tribal Sovereign Lender

Here are the materials in Goldenstein v. Repossessors Inc.:

CA3 Opinion

Appellant Brief

Appellee Brief


Lower court materials here.

Lac Vieux Desert Band Buys Bellicose Capital, LLC

Link to news coverage here.

In a major deal that will bring millions of dollars in economic development to the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (LVD) and its geographically isolated reservation in Watersmeet, MI, LVD has today announced that it has completed the purchase of Bellicose Capital. Bellicose has been a valued service provider to the Tribe’s lending business and talks to acquire Bellicose have been underway for several years.

1842 Ojibwe Treaty Meeting at Lac Vieux Desert

Participants: Lac Vieux Desert, Lac du Flambeau, Mole Lake, St. Croix, Red Cliff, Fond du Lac, Keweenaw Bay, Bad River, Lac Courte Oreilles


1842 Ojibwe Treaty Meeting 2 1842 Ojibwe Treaty Meeting 3 1842 Ojibwe Treaty Meeting 4 1842 Ojibwe Treaty Meeting 5 1842 Ojibwe Treaty Meeting

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Suit against Repo Company Working for Tribal Payday Lender Dismissed in Federal Court

Here are the materials in Goldenstein v. Repossessors Inc. (E.D. Pa.):

35-9 Repossessors Motion for Summary J

41-1 Goldenstein Response

45 Repossessors Reply

53 DCT Order Granting Motion for Summary J

Suit against Lac Vieux Desert Band over Tribal Payday Lending

Here is the complaint in Decker v. RS Financial Services LLC (W.D. Okla.):

1 Complaint

An excerpt:

1. This is a lawsuit to recover damages arising from the Defendants’ unconscionable loan/pawn finance charges, which are far in excess of any state’s usury limits.

2. Upon information and belief, RS Financial Services, LLC (“RS Financial”) and Sovereign Lending Solutions, LLC (“Sovereign”) are related entities owned and controlled by Defendant William McKibbin (“McKibbin”), and are in the business of making loans at usurious interest rates.
3. Sovereign claims to be an arm of and affiliated with Defendant Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (“Lac Vieux Tribe”), and to be afforded governmental sovereign immunity.

4. Upon information and belief, the Lac Vieux Tribe receives a fee for allowing Sovereign to claim this affiliation. However, even if the affiliation between Sovereign and the Lac Vieux Tribe was otherwise valid, the conduct alleged in this Complaint is not protected by governmental sovereign immunity.