Business | Law

Colorado judge backs immunity for tribes' payday loan firms

Payday loan businesses owned and operated by the Miami Nation and the Santee Sioux Tribe enjoy sovereign immunity, a judge in Colorado ruled on Monday in a long-running case.

In 2004, the state started going after Internet lenders owned by the two tribes. After several rounds of litigation, the Colorado Supreme Court in 2010 sided with the tribes on the immunity issue but the state continued to seek more information about their businesses.

In a 27-page ruling, Judge Morris B. Hoffman sought to put an end to the debate. He quashed subpoenas seeking more information from the tribes, discharged contempt citations against tribal officials and vacated arrest warrants that the state issued for tribal officials.

"The Miami and Santee people are the ones we must trust, as long as Congress lets us trust them, to know what kinds of business relationships are in their best interests," Morris noted. "They do not need the guidance of the State of Colorado, through either its law enforcement officials or its courts."

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Colorado v. Cash Advance.

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