Law

Law Article: Summary of recent court rulings in Indian Country





Attorneys discuss recent federal court decisions affecting tribes and individual Indians:
In Native American Council of Tribes v. Weber, 2014 WL 1644130 (8th Cir. 2014), the Native American Council of Tribes (Council) and inmates sued South Dakota prison officials alleging that the defendants’ policy prohibiting tobacco use by Native American inmates during religious activities substantially burdened the exercise of their religious beliefs in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court judge found the restrictions violated RLUIPA and ordered parties to confer

In re Grand Jury Proceedings, 744 F.3d 211 (1st Cir. 2014) related to an investigation into undisclosed violations of federal law. A federal grand jury served a subpoena duces tecum on the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office (NITHPO). The NITHPO refused to comply on the grounds that it was protected by tribal sovereign immunity.

In Wyandot Nation of Kansas v. United States, 2014 WL 1379106 (Fed. Cl. 2014), The Wyandot Nation (Tribe) sued the United States under the Tucker Act and Indian Tucker Act seeking money damages for the defendant’s numerous alleged breaches of its trust duty to the Tribe arising out of conveyances of tribal lands, failure to obtain adequate compensation, failure to collect and invest income and other breaches of the government’s alleged obligation “to protect, preserve, and manage the trust properly so as to ensure the highest and best use of those assets and generate the highest possible revenue” for the Tribe.

Get the Story:
Michael B. Apfeld, Peggy L. Barlett, Marvin C. Bynum II. John L. Clancy and Todd M. Cleary: Indian Nations Law Focus: Selected Court Decisions (The National Law Review 5/12)