indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tribal sovereignty foe slated to join Donald Trump's administration (12/7)
Rep. Markwayne Mullin denies speculation of 'privatizing' tribal land (12/7)
Sen. Barrasso passing on gavel at Senate Indian Affairs Committee (12/7)
North Dakota county wants 'Sheriff Kirchmeier' account off Twitter (12/7)
Indian Health Service plans to award $1.4M in Native youth grants (12/7)
Rosalyn R. LaPier: How Standing Rock became a site of pilgrimage (12/7)
Lakota Country Times: North Dakota county sheriff hit with lawsuit (12/7)
Vi Waln: The #NoDAPL movement reminds them we are still here (12/7)
Native Sun News Today: Lakota artist designs 'Water is Life' tipi (12/7)
Ivan Star Comes Out: The lust for oil and the #NoDAPL movement (12/7)
Common Dreams: Veterans ask for forgiveness at Standing Rock (12/7)
Tiffany Midge: Don't shame Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for pipeline (12/7)
Editorial: A 'false victory' on the Dakota Access Pipeline easement (12/7)
Nick Zaiac: Let tribes decide what to do with their own homelands (12/7)
Redding Rancheria 'excited' about bid to move casino to new site (12/7)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe defends right to use land for gaming (12/7)
Dakota Access resumes push to complete final portion of pipeline (12/6)
Dave Archambault: It's time for water protectors to return home (12/6)
Kirk Francis: Tribes must remain vigilant despite #NoDAPL victory (12/6)
Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn: Numbers behind Standing Rock's victory (12/6)
Supreme Court schedules oral argument in tribal immunity case (12/6)
Congress passes long-awaited land bills for two tribes in Oregon (12/6)
USDA awards first $10M loan to help consolidate Indian land base (12/6)
Native Sun News Today: Lone Indian Republican wins in Montana (12/6)
Lakota Country Times: New rule curbs waste of tribal resources (12/6)
Clara Caufield: Indian Country in good hands with young leaders (12/6)
Non-Indian gaming firm fighting Wilton Rancheria casino project (12/6)
Chukchansi Tribe casino dispute leads to lawsuits in federal court (12/6)
Indian Country cheers historic decision on Dakota Access Pipeline (12/5)
Tribes and Dakota Access headed back to court for hearing in D.C. (12/5)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp again parts with Indian Country on #NoDAPL (12/5)
Dave Archambault: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe thanks many allies (12/5)
Mark Trahant: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continues to defy history (12/5)
Democracy Now: Thousands of veterans deploy to Standing Rock (12/5)
Dana Lone Hill: Lakota prophecy warns of our water turning black (12/5)
James Giago Davies: Finding the real enemy in the #NoDAPL fight (12/5)
Senate committee ready for hearing on Cobell buy-back program (12/5)
Bureau of Indian Affairs extends comment period on probate rule (12/5)
Native American Farming and Ranching panel gets new members (12/5)
Class III gaming compacts for five tribes in California take effect (12/5)
Lakota Country Times: 'Tanka Bar' company recognized as leader (12/5)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne leaders inaugurated (12/5)
Harlan McKosato: Don't believe everything you read on Facebook (12/5)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Why election was dangerous for Indian people (12/5)
Indian Republicans associated with Trump seek trust land changes (12/5)
Quinault Nation prepares for journey to Standing Rock encampment (12/2)
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.