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Navajo Supreme Court Rules Incarceration of Children for Disorderly Conduct Illegal April 27, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in Navajo Supreme Court, Tribal Courts.
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In re N.B., No. SC-CV-03-08 (Nav. Sup. Ct. Apr. 16, 2008)

Issue(s): Navajo Law > Habeas Corpus; Navajo Law > Juvenile Justice >> Dispositions >>> Incarceration; Navajo Law > Fundamental Law >> Diné bi beenehaz’áanii

After the Family Court adjudicated N.B. a delinquent for disorderly conduct, it placed him on suspended probation. N.B., however, failed to comply with the court’s conditions. In response, the court revoked N.B.’s probation and jailed him. If under Navajo law the court could not imprison an adult for disorderly conduct, could the court imprison N.B. for the same offense?

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Plains Commerce Oral Argument: Impressions April 15, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in SCOTUS.
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Turtle Talk and Legal Times have written interesting first impressions of oral argument. We’ll see if we can add anything here.

What we learned from oral argument, which all-in-all went better than expected for tribal interests:

1) The Court’s two newest members, Roberts and Alito, hold narrow opinions of tribal sovereignty. The Chief Justice and Alito took the lead in peppering the Long Family’s attorney with questions and hypotheticals mostly designed to point out general problems with tribal jurisdiction over nonmembers. To this end, Roberts made thinly veiled reference to tribal legal research obstacles and how a bank could know it dealt with an ‘Indian’ corporation. And Alito even attempted to rehabilitate the Bank’s argument after it withered under attack from Scalia, Souter, and Ginsburg. But even so, neither Justice managed to drive a convincing wedge between ‘Montana 1′ and the facts in this case.

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Plains Commerce Oral Argument: Transcripts April 14, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in SCOTUS.
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The U.S. Supreme Court held oral argument today in the Plains Commerce case. Audio is not yet available, but here is the 59-page transcript.

Analysis to follow.

Eighth Circuit Rejects Tribal Court Jurisdiction over Auto Crash Suit April 6, 2008

Posted by rezjudicata in 8th Circuit, Federal Circuits.
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Nord v. Kelly, No. 07-1564 (8th Cir. Apr. 4, 2008)

Issue(s): Tribal Courts > Civil Jurisdiction >> Non-members >>> Strate

While hauling timber off of the Red Lake Reservation under a contract with the Tribe, Nord collided with Kelly. The accident occurred inside the Reservation, but on a state highway. Kelly sued Nord in the Red Lake Tribal Court. The Tribe purportedly granted the State a right-of-way for the road and the State maintains the road. If Nord is not a member of the tribe, could the tribal court exercise jurisdiction over Kelly’s suit?

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