Here is the petition in Perkins v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue:
Perkins v. Commissioner Cert Petition
This Court is presented with a question of first impression, as to the taxability of income derived from the sale of sand and gravel, mined from treatyprotected land by an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians (“Seneca Nation”). Upon the granting of certiorari, the Court will examine the language in two federal treaties, promising not to disturb the “free use and enjoyment” of lands by the Seneca Nation and “their Indian friends residing thereon and united with them,” and protecting these lands “from all taxes” for any purpose. Treaty with the Six Nations (“Canandaigua Treaty”), art. III, Nov. 11, 1794, 7 Stat. 45; Treaty with the Senecas (“1842 Treaty”), art. 9th, May 20, 1842, 7 Stat. 590. Congress has explicitly stated the Internal Revenue Code “shall be applied to any taxpayer with due regard to any treaty obligation of the United States which applies to such taxpayer.” 26 U.S.C.A. § 894 (a)(1)(West).
The question presented is whether the United States Court of Appeals and the United States Tax Court have given “due regards” to the treaty obligations of the United States by finding these treaties had no textual support for an exemption from federal income tax applicable to an enrolled Seneca member whose income is derived from the
lands of the Seneca Nation. Perkins v. Comm’r, 970 F.3d 148, 162-67 (2d. Cir. 2020).
Lower court materials here.
Here are the materials so far in Allegheny Capital Enterprises LLC v. Cox (W.D. N.Y.):
8 Amended Complaint
17-8 Motion to Dismiss
17-5 Arbitration Decision
23 DCT Order
This is a diversity action commenced by a corporate entity affiliated with the Sac and Fox of Oklahoma Tribe (doing business in the Seneca Nation in New York) and a partnership doing business in the Seneca Nation. They claim that Defendants, officers of affiliated corporations of the Susanville Indian Rancheria (a Native tribe in California, also referred to as “SIR”), made misrepresentations to Plaintiffs that led to Plaintiffs entering into the tobacco manufacturing and distribution contracts with one of the affiliated corporations. Defendants represented that they had the authority to waive tribal sovereign immunity for the affiliate corporation and that the affiliate in fact waived that immunity. After an alleged breach of these contracts, Plaintiffs lodged claims against one of the affiliate corporations, but the corporation successfully asserted that it did not waive its tribal sovereign immunity. Plaintiffs then commenced this action against the officers; they did not name the corporation as a Defendant.
Before this Court is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 17) the Amended Complaint on sovereign immunity, jurisdictional, and pleading grounds. For the reasons stated herein, Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is granted in part (dismissing claims against Defendants Stacy Dixon and Jolene Robles for lack of personal jurisdiction), denied in part (denying other grounds asserted). After resolution of this motion, Plaintiffs retain claims against Defendant Gretchen Cox.
Here is the opinion in Perkins v. Commissioner: Opinion
Tax court opinion here.
Related case materials here.
Native Wholesale Petition
1. Whether a contract for the purchase of goods entered into, and fully performed by, an Indian Tribe outside the exterior boundaries of the state in which the Tribe’s reservation is located can constitutionally subject the out of state vendor to the specific personal jurisdiction of the buyer’s state, under state laws purporting to regulate the sale of those goods in the buyer’s state.
2. Whether a state has specific personal jurisdiction to regulate a purchase of goods contract between an Indian on an Indian reservation outside the state and an Indian Tribe located within the state’s boundaries when the contract is performed on the
out of state Indian reservation.
3. Whether there is a constitutional or statutory right afforded to an Indian of one tribe to conduct business free from state regulation with an Indian of a different tribe, both of which are located in Indian country, under the Indian Commerce Clause.
4. Whether a tribally chartered corporation wholly owned by a member of a federally recognized Indian Tribe is an Indian for purposes of the protections afforded to Indians under federal law.
Lower court materials here.
Brief in Opposition
Here is the opinion in Perkins v. Commissioner:
Here are the materials in Perkins v. United States (W.D.N.Y.):
This case presents what appears to be an issue of first impression: whether a treaty between the United States and Native Americans ensuring the free use and enjoyment of tribal land bars taxes on income derived directly from the land—here, the sale of gravel mined on the land. Although at least two circuit courts have suggested in dicta that “income derived directly from the land” might be exempt from taxation under such treaties, they did so to distinguish that scenario from cases where an exemption was sought for income earned in ways that do not relate to the land itself. See Lazore v. Comm’r, 11 F.3d 1180 (3d Cir. 1993); Hoptowit v. Comm’r, 709 F.2d 564 (9th Cir. 1983). This case presents the very issue about which those courts speculated. And for the reasons that follow, this Court agrees with their speculation and finds that the plaintiffs have plausibly stated a claim for relief under two treaties with the Native American Seneca Nation.
Here is the order list today.