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9th Circuit rules against jurisdiction of Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

Filed Under: Law
More on: 9th circuit, idaho, jurisdiction, shobans, supreme court, tribal courts
   

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Idaho can't exercise jurisdiction over a non-Indian who owns land in fee simple, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

The tribe sought to prevent David Evans, a non-Indian, from building a home on fee land within the boundaries of the Fort Hall Reservation. A federal judge told Evans to exhaust his tribal court remedies.

On appeal, the 9th Circuit reversed. The court noted that tribes, in general, lack jurisdiction over non-Indians unless authorized by federal law or treaty.

"Because Evans is an owner of non-Indian fee land, the tribes’ efforts to regulate him are 'presumptively invalid,'" the decision stated.

The U.S. Supreme Court has outlined two exceptions to the general rule in Montana v. US. However, the 9th Circuit said neither one applied in this case.

"The tribes fail to show that Evans’ construction of a single-family house poses catastrophic risks," the court wrote, so the activity does not threaten the political integrity, the economic security, or the health or welfare of the tribe.

Turtle Talk has posted briefs from the case, Evans v. Shoshone-Bannock Land Use Policy Commission.

Get the Story:
Appeals court reverses tribal jurisdiction ruling (AP 12/9)

9th Circuit Decision:
Evans v. Shoshone-Bannock Land Use Policy Commission (December 5, 2013)


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