Whether a federal court may force a non-consenting, non-Indian plaintiff to exhaust his claims in tribal court when the defendant tribe has expressly consented by contract to federal or state court jurisdiction and waived both sov- ereign immunity and tribal exhaustion.
Whether a state court may adjudicate a contractual dispute between a tribe and a non-Indian where the tribe has provided specific contrac- tual consent to state court jurisdiction; or in- stead, whether the Constitution or laws of the United States prohibit such exercises of state court jurisdiction unless the State has assumed general civil jurisdiction over tribal territory under Sections 1322 and 1326 of Title 25.
The Court notes the equities clearly favor the Gustafsons, and the Court is sympathetic to the jurisdictional dilemma they find themselves in. The juvenile behavior and attitude of the Poitras that triggered the need for the issuance of the TRO in October 2012 is difficult for any reasonable person to understand. However, the plaintiffs cannot use the Declaratory Judgment Act as a vehicle to resolve a multitude of long-standing disputes which neither raise a federal question nor bear any relationship to a lawsuit over which the Court would have jurisdiction.
We have posted on the multiple suits in this long-running dispute here, here, and here.
The appellate court may consider whether the district court had subject matter jurisdiction and may consider the issue sua sponte.
A state court does not have subject matter jurisdiction where a non-Indian claimant initiates an action against Indian defendants over a lease of fee land owned by the Indian defendants within the exterior boundaries of the reservation.
Richard Kelly appealed from a district court judgment granting him a divorce from Karol Kelly but concluding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the incidents of the marriage. We reverse and remand, concluding the district court had concurrent subject matter jurisdiction with the tribal court to adjudicate the incidents of the parties’ marriage.
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