2nd Circuit blocks foreclosure suits against Oneida Nation
Two New York counties can't bring foreclosure proceedings against the Oneida Nation, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.

Madison County and Oneida County foreclosed on tribal-owned land. They said the tribe owed property taxes.

The counties said they could sue the tribe because the land was not held in trust when they started foreclosure proceedings. But the 2nd Circuit said the tribe hadn't waived its sovereign immunity.

In the 31-page decision, the court said the tribe is "immune from suit under the long-standing doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity. The remedy of foreclosure is therefore not available to the counties."

The Bureau of Indian Affairs eventually agreed to acquire about 13,000 in trust for the tribe. The 2nd Circuit noted that the tribe has agreed to make back tax payments to the counties.

Get the Story:
Oneida Nation wins on appeal, Madison and Cayuga counties can't foreclose on land to collect taxes (The Syracuse Post-Standard 4/27)

2nd Circuit Decision:
Oneida Nation v. Madison County and Oneida County (April 27, 2010)