Update in Massive Suit against Plain Green, Owned by Chippewa Cree at Rocky Boy’s

Here are selected materials in Gringras v Rosette (D. Vt.):

66 Plain Green Motion to Dismiss or Compel

85 Response

92 Plain Green Reply

122 DCT Order

Otoe-Missouria Tribal Chairman Brings Civil Rights Action against Connecticut Dept. of Banking

Here is the complaint in Shotton v. Pitkin (W.D. Okla.):

1 Complaint

An excerpt:

Plaintiff brings this action as a result of unlawful enforcement actions taken by Defendants against Plaintiff and Defendants’ entry of a state administrative order imposing a civil penalty of $700,000 against Plaintiff in his individual capacity and unlawfully restraining his conduct without due process of law and in violation of his individual right to immunity as a tribal official.

Our post on a related suit in Connecticut Superior Court action is here.

Otoe-Missouria Tribal Lender Appeals Connecticut Dept. of Banking Fines

Here are the materials in Great Plains Lending LLC v. Connecticut Dept. of Banking (Conn. Super.):


Motion for TRO

News coverage here: “Oklahoma tribe appeals $1.5 million in payday lending fines.”

News Profile: “Tribal Payday Lenders Get Comeuppance”


From the FTC press release:

Two payday lending companies have settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated the law by charging consumers undisclosed and inflated fees. Under the proposed settlement, AMG Services, Inc. and MNE Services, Inc. will pay $21 million – the largest FTC recovery in a payday lending case – and will waive another $285 million in charges that were assessed but not collected.

The Federal Trade Commission’s website on this matter is here.

The stipulated judgment is here.

Class Certification Denied in Challenge to Credit Reporting to Tribal Payday Lenders (among others)

Here are the materials in Aleksic v. Clarity Services (N.D. Ill.):

50 Motion for Class Certification

74 DCT Order on Motions to Dismiss

91 DCT Order on Amended Motions to Dismiss

114 Amended Motion for Class Certification

118 Clarity Response to 114

121 Reply in Support of 114

123 DCT Order Motion for Class Certification

An excerpt:

Moreover, even if the definition were narrowed, the class would still not be eligible for certification. To be certified, a class must satisfy all of the criteria of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 23(a), i.e., numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy, and one of the criteria of Rule 23(b), here, “that the questions of law or fact common to class members predominate over any [individual] questions . . . , and . . . a class action is superior to other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(1)-(4), (b)(3). Assuming, arguendo, that the Rule 23(a) factors are met, plaintiff cannot satisfy Rule 23(b)(3) because individual issues predominate, including whether: (1) Clarity gave out any class member’s report “[i]n accordance with [his/her] written instructions,” as the FCRA permits, see 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(a)(2); (2) any or all of the lenders is a tribal entity, and thus, immune from state regulation, see Puyallup Tribe, Inc. v. Dep’t of Game of State of Wash. 433 U.S. 165, 172 (1977) (“Absent an effective waiver or consent, it is settled that a state court may not exercise jurisdiction over a recognized Indian tribe.”); see also Kiowa Tribe of Okla. Mfg. Tech., Inc., 523 U.S. 751, 756 (1998) (stating that “tribal immunity is a matter of federal law and is not subject to diminution by the States”); Cook v. AVI Casino Enters., Inc. 548 F.3d 718, 725 (9th Cir. 2008) (“[T]ribal corporations acting as an arm of the tribe enjoy the same sovereign immunity granted to a tribe itself.”); (3) Clarity was aware of any lender’s status as a tribal entity; and (4) the amount of damages, if any, suffered by each class member. Because these individual issues would dwarf any issues common to even the hypothetically-narrowed class, this is not an appropriate case for class certification.


Contrary to plaintiff’s assertion, these principles survived Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Cmty.,134 S. Ct. 2024 (2014) and Jackson v. Payday Financial, LLC, 764 F.3d 765 (7th Cir. 2014). Bay Mills held that individual Indian tribe members, but not “the Tribe itself,” can be sued for violations of state law committed “beyond reservation boundaries.” 134 S. Ct. at 2034-35. Jackson held that a tribal court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over state law claims asserted against a tribe member arising from conduct committed off reservation land. 764 F.3d at 772-82.

Chippewa Cree Tribe Suit to Recover Arbitration Award from Tribally-Owned Payday Lending Management Company

Here is the complaint in Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy Reservation of Montana v. Encore Services LLC (D. Mont.):

1 Complaint + Exhibits

News coverage, “Tribal members funneled cash from lending company,” here. H/T pechanga.

Federal Court Affirms Arbitration Provision in Tribal Payday Lending But Won’t Order Arbitration Outside of Federal District

Here are the materials in Achey v. BMO Harris Bank (N.D. Ill.):

15 Bank Motion to Transfer Case

29 Bank Motion to Compel Arbitration

33 Bank Motion to Dismiss

39 Response to Motion to Transfer

40 Response to Motion to Compel Arbitration

41 Response to Motion to Dismiss

60 DCT Order

Lac Vieux Desert Releases Video about Its Lending Enterprise

Here. Titled “Frozen Homeland.” The blurb: “How the Lac Vieux Desert tribe funds propane for its enrolled members when the tribe finds its homeland frozen in the harshest winter they’ve ever known.”

Suit against Lac Vieux Desert Band over Tribal Payday Lending

Here is the complaint in Decker v. RS Financial Services LLC (W.D. Okla.):

1 Complaint

An excerpt:

1. This is a lawsuit to recover damages arising from the Defendants’ unconscionable loan/pawn finance charges, which are far in excess of any state’s usury limits.

2. Upon information and belief, RS Financial Services, LLC (“RS Financial”) and Sovereign Lending Solutions, LLC (“Sovereign”) are related entities owned and controlled by Defendant William McKibbin (“McKibbin”), and are in the business of making loans at usurious interest rates.
3. Sovereign claims to be an arm of and affiliated with Defendant Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (“Lac Vieux Tribe”), and to be afforded governmental sovereign immunity.

4. Upon information and belief, the Lac Vieux Tribe receives a fee for allowing Sovereign to claim this affiliation. However, even if the affiliation between Sovereign and the Lac Vieux Tribe was otherwise valid, the conduct alleged in this Complaint is not protected by governmental sovereign immunity.