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Supreme Court Grants Cert To Two Indian Law Cases October 2, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in SCOTUS.
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Last term was seemingly so busy, it is hard to believe that the Supreme Court is back at it again. Today, the Court granted certiorari to two more Indian law cases. The cases are:

Hawaii, et al. v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, et al.

United States v. Navajo Nation

With luck, we will provide more information and analysis in the future as arguments are set and heard.

Green Tree Servicing, LLC v. Duncan — Navajo Supreme Court September 7, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in Navajo Supreme Court, Tribal Courts.
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Navajo Supreme Court says federal Bankrupcy Code does not protect assignees of debtor; invalidates arbitration clause under Navajo Fundamental Law.

Green Tree Servicing, LLC v. Duncan, No. SC-CV-46-05 (Nav. Sup Ct. Aug. 18, 2008)

Issues: Federal Law > Bankruptcies >> Automatic Stays; Navajo Fundamental Law > Contracts >> Arbitration Clauses

After Conseco filed for bankruptcy, Green Tree purchased Conseco’s loan servicing contracts. This included Duncan’s loan for the purchase of a mobile home. Sometime later Green Tree filed a repossession action against Duncan. Duncan counterclaimed for fraud, harassment, and assault. Does the “automatic stay” provision of the Bankruptcy Code bar Duncan’s counterclaims? If not, did an arbitration clause in the original contract bar the counterclaims?

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9th Circuit, En Banc, Reverses Navajo Nation v. USFS August 8, 2008

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Navajo Nation v. United States Forest Service

The en banc panel of the 9th Circuit says that the use of treated sewage effluent on the San Fransisco Peaks does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, reversing the 9th Circuit’s original opinion. The case is 2 volumes long and contains a lengthy dissent. Analysis to follow.

Hiatus July 24, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in Uncategorized.
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Apologies for the extended hiatus as foreseeable events have led to unforeseeable delays. I anticipate Rez Judicata will get rolling again in August.

Supreme Court Reverses Plains Commerce, Deals Blow to Tribal Jurisdiction June 25, 2008

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Here is the opinion, authored by Chief Justice Roberts. The Court split 5-4, analysis to follow.

5/29 Conference Update II: Kickapoo Traditional Tribe v. Texas June 2, 2008

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Per SCOTUSBlog, the Court did not take any new cases from its 5/29 conference. The order list, however, does not include Kickapoo Traditional Tribe v. Texas. According to the docket sheet, the Court requested a response—after distributing the case for the 5/29 conference—from Texas in mid-May, due in June. So it appears that the Court will wait for another conference to make a cert-decision.

5/29 Conference Update: Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas v. Texas May 29, 2008

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The Supreme Court is set to consider cert in Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas v. Texas on May 29, 2008. Here are the basics:

In the wake of Seminole Tribe, the Secretary of the Interior adopted a set of regulations that allowed tribes to pursue Class III gaming even if an intransigent State refused to negotiate a pact under the IGRA. The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe sought Class III gaming, but Texas categorically declined to negotiate a pact knowing full well that, under Seminole, the Tribe could never call Texas to account in federal court. So the Tribe pursued Class III gaming through the Secretary’s regulations. Texas then challenged the validity of the regulations.

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Western Shoshone Nat’l Council v. United States — Federal Circuit Court of Appeals May 27, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in Federal Circuit, Federal Circuits.
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Federal Circuit refuses to vacate 24 year-old ICC judgment

Western Shoshone National Council v. United States, 2007-5020 (Fed. Cir. May 22, 2008)

Issue(s): Indian Claims Commission > Final Judgments >> Relief; Treaty Title > Intent to Convey

After Congress created the Indian Claims Commission, several Shoshone tribes filed claims alleging that the U.S. government took over 80 million acres of land. During the decades-long legal battle, the Te-Moak Band and the government agreed that historical events extinguished aboriginal title. In 1974, the Western Shoshone National Council attempted to intervene, alleging that the Te-Moak Band and United States had colluded to treat title as extinguished. Later, the Te-Moak Band itself attempted to reverse course and say that it still held title to the land. The Commission nixed both efforts and entered final judgment in 1979. Twenty-four years later, the Council and several Shoshone tribes sought a declaratory judgment that the judgment was void.

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Dawes v. Eriacho – Navajo Supreme Court May 16, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in Navajo Supreme Court, Tribal Courts.
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“You don’t have to write what you say, but you have to say something”—Navajo Supreme Court clarifies Navajo Code of Criminal Procedure Rule 15(d).

Dawes v. Eriacho, No SC-CV-09-08 (Nav. Sup. Ct. May 5, 2008)

Issue(s): Criminal Procedure > Pretrial Detention >> Bail or Bond >>> Requirements

Navajo Code of Criminal Procedure Rule 15(d) requires judges state the reasons for denying bail “for the record.” At Dawes’ initial appearance, the district court allegedly denied bail because Dawes lived in Albuquerque and therefore was a flight risk. From detention, Dawes filed a written request for release, but the district court did not respond. Did the district court violate Rule 15(d)?

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5/12 Conference Update May 13, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in SCOTUS.
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The United States Supreme Court has denied cert in Carls v. Blue Lake Housing Authority.