Maryland Federal Court Dismisses RICO Action against MHA Nation Officials

Here are the materials in Manago v. Cane Bay Partners VI LLLP (D. Md.):

90 Motion to Dismiss — Personal Jurisdiction

90-1 Memorandum

91 Motion to Dismiss — 12b6

91-1 Memorandum

99 Response to 91

100 Response to 90

103 Reply in Support of 90

104 Reply in Support of 91

106-1 LCO Complaint

111 DCT Order

Former MHA Nation chairs . . . .

Article On Trafficking at MHA Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes)


With no anti-trafficking law of their own to deal with the crime and all signs pointing to a crisis, a group of tribal women snapped into action to work on a legislative solution. “No one said, ‘Here is the course on dealing with trafficking, and this is how you’re going to execute it,’ ” Young Bird says. “We’ve had to teach ourselves.”

“We all came together,” adds Cummings, “pulled what we could to the table, rolled up our sleeves, and got down and dirty with the whole situation.”

As an aside–there should be a collection of all the times someone writes something along the lines of “a small group of Native women made a massive difference in the face of collective indifference and ignorance.”

HT to a lot of Facebook friends who shared this.

UND Panel Discussion on Native American Sentencing Disparity and the Case of Dana Deegan

Looks like an amazing discussion. Here. We posted on this case here.

The UND School of Law will host a panel discussion featuring Federal Judge Myron H. Bright on October 14, 2013 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. UND School of Law Baker Courtroom.  The panelists will discuss the topic of Native American sentencing disparity and specifically the case of Dana Deegan. She is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, and is currently serving a 10-year sentence on a charge of second-degree murder.

Schedule of Speakers:

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. – Overview of the Disparity Problem and its Origins
BJ Jones, Director, Tribal Judicial Institute & Chief Justice of the Turtle Mountain Tribal Court of Appeals
Chris Ironroad, Associate Attorney at Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Impact of Disparity on Native Americans- The Case of Dana Deegan
Judge Myron H. Bright, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Judge David E. Ackerson, St. Louis County, Minnesota
Sarah Deer, Assistant Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law
Marmie Jotter, sister of Dana Deegan and licensed psychotherapist

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit – Appeal of Dana Deegan Case

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. – How the Guidelines Unfairly Treat Domestic Violence Victims
Radmilla Cody- Ms. Navajo Nation 1997-98 and recording artist

Light refreshments will be served during the event

Ray Cross on Fracking and the Fort Berthold Reservation

Probably the most important article on fracking in Indian country so far.

Raymond Cross has published “Development’s Victim or Its Beneficiary?: The Impact of Oil and Gas Development on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation” in the North Dakota Law Review.

Deeply Divided Eighth Circuit Panel Affirms 10-Year Sentence for Neonatcide

Apparently, this is only the second time in the history of the federal courts that there has been a person convicted of neonatcide. Thank you Major Crimes Act. 😦

The facts in this case are beyond horrible, and we usually don’t post criminal cases like this, but the dissent is so passionate in this case.

Here is the opinion: US v Deegan.

From the dissent (Judge Bright):

In the view of this judge, the procedure followed and the imposition of a ten-year-plus prison sentence on Ms. Deegan, a young American Indian woman, represents the most clear sentencing error that this dissenting judge has ever seen.

* * *

Ms. Deegan’s crime of neonaticide was a unique sort of homicide and completely unlike the usual and ordinary killings that constitute second-degree murder under federal law. As I have already observed, federal courts do not ordinarily deal with these types of cases, which may be grist for the mills of state courts. Only because this neonaticide occurred on an Indian reservation does this case become one of federal jurisdiction. There exists no basis in the statements of the Sentencing Commission or in reviewing federal appellate second-degree murder cases to conclude that the crime of neonaticide comes within the federal second-degree murder sentencing guidelines.

Colorado Supreme Court ICWA Case — In the Matter of J.C.T.

From Jill Tompkins:

Today the American Indian Law Clinic won its appeal in the  Colorado Supreme Court in a case concerning a contested guardianship of an American Indian child, In the Matter of J.C.T..  The Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and upheld the rulings of the Denver Probate  Court finding that it was an appropriate exercise of the Probate Court’s authority to consider the potential of a prospective guardian to be an adoptive parent.  This decision will allow the boy to finally be adopted after being under various guardianships for 10 years. Ann Rhodes, ’07, did an outstanding job of briefing the case on the boy’s tribe’s behalf  (I argued it).   Maggie Wetmore, ’05 was the student attorney who handled the complex trial-level work.

Here’s a link to the opinion.

Congrats to Jill and her students!