First Circuit Rejects Narragansett Interlocutory Appeal in Sovereign Immunity Matter (Waited Too Long to Appeal Denial of Motion for Reconsideration)

Here is the opinion in Luckerman v. Narragansett Indian Tribe:

CA1 Opinion

An excerpt:

Surveying the foregoing, a prior duty panel of this court cleared the underbrush by  dismissing as untimely any appeal from the denial of the Motion to Dismiss. Luckerman v. Narragansett Indian Tribe, No. 14-1106, Order at 1 (1st Cir. Aug. 29, 2014). That decision obviates the need to decide whether we would have had jurisdiction over an interlocutory appeal from the Motion to Dismiss. We do need to decide, though, whether we have appellate jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine to review the only order before us: the denial of the untimely Rule 59(e) Motion. For the reasons described below, we conclude that the denial of the Tribe’s untimely Rule 59(e) Motion does not qualify as a collateral order that we may review prior to the end of the litigation in the district court.

Briefs here.

First Circuit Briefs in Luckerman v. Narragansett Tribe


Narrangansett Brief

Luckerman Brief

Narragansett Reply

Lower court materials here.

Preliminary Injunction Issued by Paskenta Tribal Court

Here is the order in Freeman v. Freeman (Paskenta Tribal Court):

PTCV-14-001-2014-5-29 – Preliminary Injunction Order

Materials here.

More Tribal Court Filings in Paskenta Leadership Dispute

Here are the new materials in Freeman v. Freeman (Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians Tribal Court):

PTCV-14-001 – 2014-5-27 Motion for Preliminary Injuction and Default Judgment

PTCV-14-001 – 2014-5-27 – Declaration of M Jones

PTCV-14-001 – 2014-5-27 – Second Declaration of G. Freeman

Prior posts on this issue here, here, and here.

And a related document:

4-16-14 BIA Letter re Legitimate Paskenta Tribal Council

Additional Update in Luckerman v. Narragansett

Here are additional materials in Luckerman v. Narragansett Indian Tribe (D. R.I.):

29 Motion to Correct the Record

33-1 Response

34 DCT Order on Amending the Record

Meanwhile, the tribe has appealed the sovereign immunity issue here to the First Circuit.

Prior posts on this case are here and here.

Federal Court Rejects Narragansett Effort to Dismiss Attorney Fees Suit on Immunity Grounds

Here are the updated materials in Luckerman v. Narragansett Indian Tribe (D. R.I.):

18-1 Narragansett Motion for Reconsideration

19-1 Luckerman Response

20 Narragansett Reply

22 DCT Order Denying Reconsideration

An excerpt:

On August 29, 2013, this Court denied Defendant Narragansett Indian Tribe’s (“Tribe”) motion to dismiss, but stayed adjudication of the case pending tribal exhaustion.1 Now, the Tribe has filed a motion for reconsideration of that decision (ECF No. 18), re-emphasizing the Tribe’s position that its tribal sovereign immunity bars the instant lawsuit, and asking again that the Court dismiss the claims brought by Plaintiff Douglas J. Luckerman. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant’s motion for reconsideration is DENIED.

Earlier, the federal court remanded the case to tribal court for exhaustion purposes, post here. Other lower court materials here and here.

Federal Court Dismisses Challenge to Paskenta Band Governance

Here are the materials in Swearinger v. Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians Tribal Business Council (N.D. Cal.):

DCT Order Dismissing Complaint

Swearinger Complaint

Paskenta Band Motion to Dismiss

Swearinger Opposition

Paskenta Band Reply

An excerpt:

Plaintiffs are “enrolled members of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians,” a federally recognized Indian tribe with “approximately 240 members.” Docket No. 1, Compl. ¶¶ 11, 13-14. Although Congress revoked PBNI’s status as a federally recognized tribe in 1958, it  later restored the tribe’s federally recognized status in 1994 by enacting the Paskenta Band Restoration Act (PBRA), Pub. L. No. 103-454, §§ 301-03, 108 Stat. 4791 (codified as amended at 25 U.S.C. §§ 1300m et seq.). Compl. ¶ 21. The PBRA directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct an “election for the purpose of adopting a constitution and bylaws for the Tribe.” 25 U.S.C. § 1300m-6. The PBRA further states that, after the tribe adopts a constitution, “such tribal constitution shall govern membership in the Tribe.” Id. § 1300m-4(b).

Seattle Times Coverage of Nooksack Disenrollments



The federal government has been hesitant to get involved in tribal internal affairs, according to Robert Anderson, director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. A group of Snoqualmie members experienced a rare legal victory in 2009 when a federal court judge overturned their banishment and disenrollment.

Disenrollment decisions are not only about membership, but also about belonging, Raquel Montoya-Lewis, chief judge of the Nooksack Tribal Court, wrote in a court decision.

“Cultural and tribal identity lay at the heart of how we know ourselves. … Belonging to a tribe gives tribal members a sense of home, of connection to a community, whether one lives there or not,” Montoya-Lewis wrote.

Eighth Circuit Rejects Sandy Lake Chippewa Secretarial Election Appeal — UPDATED with briefs

Here is the opinion.

The court’s syllabus:

Civil case – Indian law. Because the district court had adjudicated the issue of subject matter jurisdiction in the Sandy Lake Band’s previous suit, and Sandy Lake did not appeal from that decision or exhaust its administrative remedies, the court is bound by the district court’s original determination that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction; the district court’s dismissal order is affirmed, but modified to be without prejudice.


Sandy Lake Opening Brief

Federal Answering Brief

Sandy Lake Reply

Lower court materials here.

Cherokee Nation Redistricting Challenge — Tribal Court Materials — UPDATED

Here are the materials in Anglen v. Cherokee Nation Council: