Wisconsin Appellate Court Affirms Wisc. Oneida Cross-Jurisdictional Law Enforcement Agreement

As Indianz reported, the Village of Hobart’s crusade against the Wisconsin Oneidas hit a roadblock. Here is the opinion in Village of Hobart v. Brown County.

Hobart’s challenge to the tribe’s trust land acquisition is here.

Here is the tribe’s challenge to Hobart’s policy on stormwater fees.

Here is our original post on the Brown County case.

And here is the case on Hobart’s covenants against tribal ownership of land.

Wisconsin COA Decides First Case under State Tribal Court Transfer Rule

Here is the opinion in Kroner v. Oneida Seven Generations Corp. (and here are the briefs we have):


John Kroner appeals an order transferring his civil suit to the Oneida Tribal Judicial System pursuant to WIS. STAT. § 801.54, titled, discretionary transfer of civil actions to tribal court. Kroner argues the circuit court erred because the record did not support its determination that the tribal court had concurrent jurisdiction. Kroner further contends the court failed to properly consider the statutory discretion factors. We conclude the record supports the circuit court’s exercise of discretion, and affirm.

Briefing in Kroner v. Oneida Seven Generations Corp.

Here are those materials (so far):

Kroner Brief

Oneida Brief

An excerpt from the petitioner’s brief:

This is an appeal from Judgments entered August 31, 2010 and September 10, 2010, in the Circuit Court of Brown County, Donald R. Zuidmulder, Circuit Judge. (R. 38, A. App 1, R. 41, A. App 3.) The Circuit Court held a hearing on August 31, 2010. (R. 54, A. App 4-16.) The Circuit Court granted Defendant-Respondent [*3] Oneida Seven Generations Corporation’s (“OSGC’s”) Motion to Transfer to Tribal Court pursuant to Sec. 801.54, and later denied the Motion to Reconsider of Plaintiff-Appellant John Kroner, concluding as a matter of law that OSGC’s motion provided sufficient evidence and argument to warrant transfer of this case to the Oneida Tribal Judicial System (“Tribal Court”). (R. 38, A. App 1, R. 41, A. App 3, R. 54, A. App 4-16.)

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Decides ICWA Case

Here is the opinion — In re Vaughn R

An excerpt:

We conclude that 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f) applies even though the child has been placed outside the parental home before the TPR proceeding is filed. Thus, in this case it applies even though Vaughn has been living with foster parents for several years. Because § 1912(f) applies, the County was required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, by evidence that includes testimony of “qualified expert witnesses,” that returning Vaughn to Luis “is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage” to Vaughn. We conclude the record does not provide a reasonable basis for deciding that the county social worker is a “qualified expert witness” within the meaning of § 1912(f). Accordingly, we reverse and remand for a new trial.

Because the correct burden of proof for the showing required by 25 U.S.C. § 1912(d) will arise on remand, we address the issue. We conclude that, unlike § 1912(f), § 1912(d) does not impose a burden of proof on the states, and, in particular, does not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt for the § 1912(d) showing relating to efforts by the County to provide the prescribed services. Therefore, the instruction to the jury that this showing has to be proved by clear and convincing evidence is a proper statement of the law.

Forest County Potawatomi v. Town of Lincoln — Tax Case

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals reversed a trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of the Town of Lincoln in Forest County Potawatomi and Sokoagon Chippewa Community v. Town of Lincon (H/T Indianz). From the opinion:

The Forest County Potawatomi Community and the Sokaogon Chippewa Community (the Tribes) appeal a summary judgment dismissing their claim against the Township of Lincoln (the Town) for excessive tax on two forty-acre parcels in Crandon, Wisconsin. The Tribes challenged the assessed value of the land – land often referred to as the Crandon mine site. The assessment was based on a Department of Revenue analysis of an April 2003 sale of the mining company that owned the land. The circuit court concluded the sale was a recent arm’s-length sale of the property. The court declined to consider other factors the Tribes claimed affected the land’s value.

We conclude the sale of the mining company included not just the two forty-acre parcels but also substantial other land and company assets. The transaction was therefore not a sale of “the property.” We further conclude this is “significant contrary evidence,” which rebuts the presumption in favor of the
Town’s assessment. Accordingly, the circuit court erred by failing to consider the Tribes’ evidence of the land’s value. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Trust Land and Tax Question

The case is Ho-Chunk Nation v. Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue (wisconsin-coa-opinion). An excerpt from the opinion:

This appeal concerns the Ho-Chunk Nation’s claim for a refund of cigarette taxes under Wis. Stat. § 139.323 (2005-06) in respect to sales on the DeJope property. The Tax Appeals Commission denied the claim because it concluded the DeJope property was not “designated … trust land on or before January 1, 1983” as required by the statute. See § 139.323(3). The circuit court affirmed and the Ho-Chunk Nation appeals.

We agree with the commission and the circuit court that the statutory phrase means that the United States government must hold the land in trust on or before January 1, 1983. We conclude that the United States government does not hold the land in trust until formal acceptance under 25 C.F.R. § 151.14 (2007) occurs. Because this did not occur with respect to the DeJope property until after January 1, 1983, the Ho-Chunk-Nation is not entitled to a refund. Accordingly, we affirm on this issue.