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Here is the order. The amendment:
(d) Communication Between Superior Court of Any County of this State and Indian Tribal Court.
(1) A superior court of any county of this state may communicate with any Indian tribal court concerning co-occurring proceedings, whether they are active or have been concluded. The parties shall provide to the respective courts the identity, contact information, and a case or docket number of the other court’s proceedings to facilitate this communication.
(2) The superior court may allow the parties to participate in the communication. If the parties are not able or allowed to participate in the communication, they shall be given an opportunity to present facts and legal arguments in writing before a decision is made regarding the communication, or the subject of communication, by the superior court. The Indian tribal court‘s procedures and customs shall determine the parties’ participation in the Indian tribal court proceedings.
(3) The superior court shall make a record of a communication made pursuant to this section. The parties shall be informed promptly of the communication by the superior court and granted access to the record. The Indian tribal court‘s procedures shall determine whether and how a record is made in Indian tribal court proceedings, and whether and how parties may be informed of the communication or granted access to a record of the communication.
(4) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, communication between the superior court and the Indian tribal court regarding scheduling, administrative or emergency purposes, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties. The superior court need not make a record of the communication under this section. The Indian tribal court‘s procedures shall determine whether and how a record is made in Indian tribal court proceedings of such communication.
(5) For the purposes of this section, “record” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
(6) The superior court shall follow the procedures set forth in subsection (3) of this section when communicating regarding adult criminal matters, except as otherwise authorized by law. The Indian tribal court‘s procedures shall determine the requirements for communication regarding adult criminal matters in Indian tribal court proceedings. Superior courts and Indian tribal courts may communicate about the orders prohibiting contact as set forth in subsections (1) – (5) above.
Introduced by Rep. Haaland.
Whether the Tenth Circuit panel violated the current jurisprudence of this Court and the Congressional policy underlying IGRA by precluding the Nation from exercising its sovereign authority to permit a patron’s tort claim against the Nation and its gaming facility to be brought in state court without express congressional permission.
Lower court materials here.
Grant Christensen has posted “Civil Rights Notes: American Indians and Banishment, Jury Trials, and the Doctrine of Lenity,” forthcoming in the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.
Indian defendants appearing before tribal courts are not protected by the Bill of Rights. Instead, Congress enacted the Indian Civil Rights Act in 1968 to extend some, but not all, constitutional protections unto Indian reservations. Fifty years later and there continues to be extensive litigation surrounding ICRA.
This paper looks at all of the ICRA cases decided in 2017 to attempt to evaluate the merits of ICRA’s protections of tribal rights. The picture is decidedly mixed. From these cases the paper calls for three changes that directly respond to trends in civil rights litigation. 1) The paper suggests that courts expand the understanding of habeas jurisdiction to extend when an individual has been banished. It argues that banishment is a form of confinement and a restriction of liberty – albeit one where the jail cell is large, essentially the world minus the reservation. 2) Tribes must adopt codes that provide for a trial by jury and rules for determining who constitutes the jury and how it may be empaneled. While ICRA provides for a trial by jury, tribal courts have an affirmative duty to inform defendants of their right to request a jury trial. It is a violation of ICRA if the tribe does not make provisions for a jury when requested. 3) Finally tribal court judgments, when used in other forums, may be ambiguous because tribal law and tribal procedures are distinct from those followed by states or the federal system. Accordingly, any ambiguity that arises in response to a tribal court judgment should be resolved with a reference to the doctrine of lenity.
Paul Spruhan has posted “Guardians of Tribal Tradition: Litigation in the Navajo Nation” in Litigation, The Journal of ABA Section of Litigation.