Federal Court Admits Criminal Evidence Obtained Illegally under Tribal Court Search Warrant

Here are the relevant materials in United States v. Youngbear (N.D. Iowa):

Magistrate R&R in Youngbear

Youngbear Objection

DCT Order Adopting Magistrate Report

Federal Court Holds Sac and Fox Tribal Court Has No Jurisdiction over Conversion Claims against API

This arises out of the remand from the Eighth Circuit (the SCT eventually denied cert) in Attorney’s Processes and Investigation Services v. Sac and Fox Tribe (N.D. Iowa):

Sac and Fox Order 8-19-11

Sac and Fox Motion for Summary J

Sac and Fox Appendix

API Motion for Summary J

API Appendix

Sac and Fox Reply

API Reply

API v. Sac and Fox — Court Finds Tribal Court Jurisdiction over Nonmembers

Here is the district court order granting the tribe’s motion to dismiss a challenge to the tribal court’s jurisdiction in this long-running intratribal dispute — DCT Order on Cross Motions

The pleadings are here.

An excerpt:

API’s conduct imperiled the Tribe’s political integrity. In essence, API invaded the Tribe’s land to quell an intra-tribal governmental dispute. API argues this intra-tribal dispute was merely incidental to the raid. API contends that, if the court finds the raid imperiled the Tribe’s political integrity, any action taken by a non-member on tribal land during an intra-tribal governmental dispute would justify a court’s invocation of the second Montana exception. The court disagrees. API’s actions were made and intended to be a direct challenge to the Bear Council. API raided the Casino on behalf of the Walker Council, which was not the Tribe’s true governing authority. API conducted the raid pursuant to the Agreement, and the Agreement’s terms indicate the services API was expected to provide related directly to the Tribe’s governmental affairs. See Agreement at P I.2.A (stating API “shall perform services directly relating to the investigation of a takeover by dissidents at the [Casino] located on the Tribe’s reservation lands” and “[i]nvestigat[e] [. . .] individuals involved in the unlawful acts against the Tribal Government”). In other words, API was  hired to assist in the resolution of an intra-tribal governmental dispute, which strikes at the heart of the secondMontana exception. The fact API believed it was operating with the consent of the Tribe’s governing authority, that is, the ousted Walker Council, has no effect on the application of this exception. In truth and in fact, API raided the Casino specifically to weaken one side of an intra-tribal governmental dispute, which happened to be the Bear Council, the Tribe’s true governing body. This is an act with potentially catastrophic consequences to the Tribe’s government. The court concludes this merits the application of the protective prong of the Montana exception and that the Tribal Court’s exercise of civil jurisdiction over API was proper.

API v. Sac & Fox — Cross-Motions Pending


After having been reopened (see our post here), post-tribal remedies exhaustion, the tribe filed a motion to dismiss, and the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment. Both are pending after the court’s order to allow amendment of some of the pleadings.

DCT Order on Motion to Amend

Sac & Fox Motion to Dismiss

API Resistance to Motion to Dismiss

Sac & Fox Reply

API Motion for Summary Judgment

Sac & Fox Resistance to Motion for Summary J

Attorney’s Process and Investigation Services v. Sac and Fox Tribe — Case Reopened

This case arises out of alleged tortious nonmember conduct during the leadership dispute at Meskawki a few years back. In 2005, the Northern District of Iowa applied the tribal court exhaustion doctrine as justification for staying the case (nov-2005-dct-order). The tribal court’s processes have run (motion-to-reopen-case [includes tribal court decision]), and now the case has been reopened (dct-order-reopening-case).

This will be a very interesting application of the Montana test, if the court reaches the merits.