indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Rosebud court asserts authority over utility

Filed Under: Business | Law | National
More on: elections, energy, jurisdiction, native sun news, rosebud sioux, south dakota, tribal courts
   

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Managing Editor. All content © Native Sun News.


An electric power line provided by Cherry-Todd Electric Coop crosses the Niobrara River. Courtesy/Cherry-Todd Electric Coop

Court favors RST over Cherry Todd Electric
If ruling stands jurisdiction could have national implications
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Managing Editor

ROSEBUD — Judge Sherman Marshall, Chief Judge of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court, ruled last week that the tribe can exercise jurisdiction of Cherry Todd Electric by denying a motion from the company to have a case brought against it dismissed in tribal court.

The suit that was brought against the electric company (that is based off the reservation) may have major implications for how energy distributors are governed on reservation lands. The plaintiffs in the suit filed several complaints against Cherry Todd including claims that Cherry Todd had practiced voting policies during the election of board members that adversely impacted the voting power of Native American voters, that non-Indian cooperative members were given multiple ballots, and that the counting of ballots cast were done in secret without oversight from members of the cooperative that include members of the tribe. The voting process that is being challenged by tribal members Rose Cordier, Ann-Erika White Bird and Shawn Bordeaux involves the election of an 8 person board in the company. Although nearly 80% of those being served by Cherry Todd are Native American only one member of the elected board is of Native descent.

“There was never a doubt in the minds of the plaintiffs that the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court was the appropriate venue to hear this case. Now we can move forward in our quest for justice for the people of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe,” said Ann-Erika Whitebird one of the plaintiffs in the case.

In an interview with Rich Winter of the Todd County Tribune, Tribal Utilities Commissioner Dan Gargan relayed why the court ruled to deny the motion to dismiss which was based on if two legal tests were satisfied.

“As a component of this case, the court found that Cherry Todd is the sole provider of Electric Power on this Reservation,” Gargan said. “The cooperative provides electrical services to the tribe and that has some direct effect on the political integrity, economic security and health and welfare of the tribe.”

The other aspect of the legal test that needed to be satisfied for tribal court to have jurisdiction to rule on the matter was if there was a consensual relationship between the tribe and the company and ruled that there was in fact one solidified through the business license that Cherry Todd was operating under on the reservation.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribal council voted to join the tribal members in the suit against Cherry Todd after the court’s ruling last week. In a press release from Commissioner Daniel Gargan he said that the tribe would be looking to pursue other complaints against the electric provider.

“The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, in a unanimous show of support by its Tribal Council, last week voted to join the lawsuit. Now that the Tribe has entered the case, additional claims are being pursued against Cherry Todd that include theft and destruction of tribal timber, overcharging electric customers, and imposing predatory fees for late payments and disconnects/reconnects. The Tribe is also investigating complaints of customers being disconnected from electric service during winter months, in direct violation of Title 20 of the Rosebud Law and Order Code,” he said.

The lawsuit will be prosecuted by the tribe’s utility commission. Cherry Todd is expected to appeal the decision to the Rosebud Sioux Supreme Court as legal precedent has established that it must prior to appealing to Federal court off the reservation.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at staffwriter2@nsweekly.com)

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: Utility faces lawsuit in Rosebud Sioux court (2/11)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Chair of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe blasts report (1/27)
Native Sun News: Lummi Nation eyes halt to coal export project (1/27)
House Natural Resources Committee set to hold first meeting (1/27)
First-ever conference to focus on marijuana in Indian Country (1/27)
Fort Peck Tribes moving towards full legalization of marijuana (1/27)
8th Circuit rules against Indian inmate in religious rights case (1/27)
Jennifer Denetdale: Film glosses over violence in border towns (1/27)
Isadore Boni: An Apache AIDS survivor completes first marathon (1/27)
Osage Nation expects to see $7.4M in Cobell consolidation offers (1/27)
The Atlantic: Native people wary of DNA tests and genetic studies (1/27)
Morongo Band to debut first tribally-owned Taco Bell next week (1/27)
County files appeal over Chumash Tribe land-into-trust decision (1/27)
City leaders to work closely with Shakopee Tribe on road project (1/27)
Miccosukee Tribe wins decision in dispute over fees paid to court (1/27)
Senate Democrats delay vote on Keystone XL Pipeline measure (1/27)
Editorial: Wildlife refuge in Alaska deserves stronger protections (1/27)
BIA questions provision in compact for some New Mexico tribes (1/27)
Seminole Tribe still interested in opening casino in Atlantic City (1/27)
Ho-Chunk Nation's gaming compact authorizes another facility (1/27)
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes name executive for gaming operation (1/27)
Editorial: Presidential politics derailed off-reservation casino bid (1/27)
Native Sun News: North Dakota takes on impacts of energy boom (1/26)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux man calls on US to honor its word (1/26)
GOP leader outlines agenda for Senate Indian Affairs Committee (1/26)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee's first hearing (1/26)
Supreme Court orders another decision in Indian inmates' case (1/26)
Brandon Ecoffey: Major issues ignored in State of Indian Nations (1/26)
Steven Newcomb: Supreme Court decision influenced by religion (1/26)
Mateo Romero: Era of white American male rule coming to an end (1/26)
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation mourns passing of Gary Mitchell (1/26)
Officer accused of using Taser on 2 boys in Alaska Native village (1/26)
Navajo Nation Council delegate does double duty as metalhead (1/26)
Editorial: Alaska tribe makes tough decision to banish bad actors (1/26)
Opinion: Wealthy tribes shouldn't follow land-into-trust process (1/26)
Obama to seek stronger protections for wildlife refuge in Alaska (1/26)
Ho-Chunk Nation remains hopeful on off-reservation casino bid (1/26)
Chukchansi Tribe comes together in hopes of reopening casino (1/26)
Bois Forte Band reports six percent drop in revenues at casino (1/26)
Washington tribes can add more machines with new casino deal (1/26)
Editorial: Battle against Poarch Creek casinos is a waste of time (1/26)
Native Sun News: Montana basketball legend gives back to youth (1/23)
Mark Trahant: Building the new digital economy in Indian Country (1/23)
James Giago Davies: Washington team insults the first Americans (1/23)
Gyasi Ross: Indian Country can't get enough of Seattle Seahawks (1/23)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.