Law

10th Circuit won't revive Northern Arapaho Tribe taxation suit





The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals won't allow the Northern Arapaho Tribe to pursue its taxation lawsuit.

The tribe says the state of Wyoming and Fremont County are illegally taxing members who live in a certain area of the Wind River Reservation. The area includes Riverton, widely referred to as a border town.

Judge Clarence A. Brimmer dismissed the lawsuit in October 2009. He said the case could not proceed without the involvement of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the United States.

On appeal, the 10th Circuit agreed. The court determined the Eastern Shoshone Tribe's interests are at stake but that the tribe can't be joined without its consent due to sovereign immunity.

"In sum, the Eastern Shoshone has an interest in the litigation that could be harmed by proceeding in its absence, and proceeding in the absence of the Eastern Shoshone would also place the state of Wyoming at a substantial risk of incurring multiple inconsistent obligations," the decision stated.

Get the Story:
Federal Appeals Court will not hear Arapaho’s “reservation status” lawsuit unless Shoshone Tribe joins action (County 10 News 10/19)

10th Circuit Decision:
Northern Arapaho Tribe v. Harnsberger. (October 18, 2012)

Related Stories:
10th Circuit hears arguments in Northern Arapaho Tribe case (5/9)
10th Circuit to hear Northern Arapaho Tribe's taxation lawsuit (5/1)