Ninth Circuit Rejects Another Matheson Objection to Tribal-State Tax Compact

Here are the materials in Matheson v. Smith:

CA9 Unpublished Memorandum

Matheson Opening Brief

Washington Brief

Matheson Reply Brief

Lower court materials here.

Washington COA Briefs in Trust Assets Appeal

Here are the briefs in First Citizens Bank & Trust Company v. Harrison (Wash. Ct. App.):

From the reply brief:

Whether the trial court erred by ruling 25 USC § 410 exempts Indian trust income located in the Banner Bank and Fife Commercial Bank accounts from garnishment.


SCT Denied Cert in Miller v. Wright — Challenge to Puyallup Tax Agreement

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied Miller v. Wright, a challenge to the Puyallup-Washington tax agreement. Order list here.

Lower court materials here.

Miller v Wright Cert Opposition Brief


Miller v Wright Cert Opp

The petition is here. No chance for a grant. I wouldn’t have even filed an opposition….

Miller v. Wright Cert Petition


Miller v Wright Cert Petition

Questions presented:

The questions presented in this case are:
1. Whether Indian tribal immunity from suit allows the Indian tribe, a price fixing competitor, to be immune from federal anti-trust laws?
2. Whether the officials of an Indian tribe, acting beyond their authority, can be protected by tribal immunity when prospective relief is sought?
Lower court materials here.


Ninth Circuit Amends Miller v. Wright Panel Opinion

Here is the amended opinion.

Our post on the prior opinion is here.

The single amendment is to eliminate this footnote:

4. Neither in the district court nor on appeal do Miller, Lanphere, and Matheson allege a separate and distinct claim for injunctive or declaratory relief against the officials qua officials. See Maxwell, —- F.3d —-, 2012 WL 4017462, at *11. We therefore express no opinion as to the viability of such a claim against the officials themselves.

An en banc petition in the Maxwell case is currently pending.

Ninth Circuit Affirms Tribal Immunity from Antitrust Claims relating to Tribal Tax Agreement

Here is the opinion and materials in Miller v. Wright.

The court’s syllabus:

Affirming the district court’s dismissal of an antitrust action brought by cigarette vendors challenging taxes imposed by virtue of the authority vested in an Indian tribe, the panel held that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in light of the tribe’s sovereign immunity. The panel held that the tribe did not implicitly waive its sovereign immunity by agreeing to dispute resolution procedures nor by ceding its authority to Washington State when entering into a cigarette tax contract. The panel also held that federal antitrust law did not explicitly abrogate tribal immunity, and the Sherman Antitrust Act was not a law of general applicability vis-a-vis the tribe. The panel held that tribal officials were protected by the tribe’s sovereign immunity because they acted pursuant to the tribe’s authority. The panel also affirmed the district court’s alternative ruling that the action was barred by res judicata in light of prior litigation in state and tribal courts.

Here are the briefs:

Miller Opening Brief

Puyallup Answer Brief

Miller Reply Brief

Lower court materials here.