Business | Law

Non-Indian developer appeals ruling in Hualapai Tribe case

The non-Indian developer of the Grand Canyon Skywalk has taken his dispute with the Hualapai Tribe of Arizona to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

David Jin, the former operator of the Grand Canyon Skywalk, contends the tribe has acted in "bad faith." The tribal council exercised its eminent domain and took control of the popular tourist attraction last month.

In certain cases, a "bad faith" claim can allow a non-Indian to avoid tribal jurisdiction. But Judge David Campbell said the exception only comes into play when considering the actions of a tribe's court.

"If the bad faith exception were to be expanded beyond the tribal court to include the bad faith of litigants appearing before the tribal court, exhaustion would be excused every time a party before a tribal court acts in bad faith," Campbell wrote in a 15-page decision last week. "Such a reading of the exception would entirely disregard the judicial abilities of tribal courts and would assume they are incapable of recognizing and rectifying the bad faith of litigants before them."

Get the Story:
Skywalk developer appeals federal judge's ruling (AP 3/28)

Related Stories:
Developer continues to oppose Hualapai Tribe's jurisdiction (3/23)
Judge backs Hualapai court jurisdiction in Skywalk dispute (3/20)
Chairwoman of Hualapai Tribe seeks to resolve Skywalk fight (03/08)

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