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Mississippi Choctaw family seeks $2.5M in Dollar General case

Native women and their supporters rallied at the U.S. Supreme Court on December 7, 2015, as the justices heard Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Photo by Indianz.Com

The parents of a young member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians who said he was sexually abused by a non-Indian man are seeking $2.5 million in tribal court, The Neshoba Democrat reports.

The family, though, may never see resolution of the case. Dollar General -- a publicly-traded company with $17.5 billion in revenues -- is disputing the tribal court's authority to hear the lawsuit, which was filed after state and federal authorities failed to prosecute the non-Indian defendant.

"If tribal sovereignty means anything, it must include the ability for tribal courts to hear and decide cases arising from activity and conduct on our tribal lands," Chief Phyliss J. Anderson said in a statement to the paper. "Businesses like Dollar General that choose to conduct their business on tribal lands should not seek to avoid legal responsibility in a tribal forum when actions of their employees result in harm to tribal citizens."

Anderson and other tribal leaders were at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to hear arguments in Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The company argued that non-Indians cannot be forced to submit to tribal jurisdiction without its written consent, a claim that some of the justices appeared to embrace.

A decision is expected to be issued next year.

Get the Story:
Dollar General seeks ban in Choctaw case (The Neshoba Democrat 12/9)

Also Today:
Tribal Communities Take Fight for Jurisdiction Rights to the Supreme Court (Take Part 12/10)
Argument analysis: Is tribal court civil jurisdiction over non-Indians truly a constitutional issue, or one of settled precedent? (SCOTUSBlog 12/8)
A “view” from the Courtroom: Committee of the Whole (SCOTUSBlog 12/8)

Relevant Documents:
Transcript: Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (December 7, 2015)

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