indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Appeals court bars tribal citizen from entering county in Michigan

Filed Under: Law
More on: 6th circuit, abuse, banishment, crime, eugene rantanen, kbic, michigan
     
   

Baraga County in Michigan. Photo: Jimmy Emerson

A citizen of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community who has been in trouble with the law for much of the past decade will not be allowed to return home for another nine years.

But unlike other high-profile banishment and disenrollment disputes, Eugene Rantanen's punishment was not of his tribe's doing. Instead he asked to be barred from entering Baraga County in Michigan because he was always getting into trouble there.

“I’ve got to remove myself from that area,” Rantanen once said after pleading guilty to yet another offense in 2014, according to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rantanen, though, had a change in heart after that ordeal and sought to return back to the county, where his tribe is based. But a three-judge panel of the court wasn't having it.

"Exile is not a pleasant experience," Judge Danny Julián Boggs wrote in the March 29 decision, citing a Bible verse, a Roman poet, Dante's Paradiso and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as proof. "Yet its purpose in the case before us was less punitive than preventive."

If Rantanen shows improvement -- he has sought substance abuse treatment numerous times only to fall "off the wagon" after returning home -- he could ask for the restriction to be lifted, the court said. Otherwise, there is no reason to disturb the conditions imposed on his sentence.

"Rantanen was using drugs and alcohol and then committing crimes while under their influence," the decision stated. "He had a history of repeatedly violating court orders and making poor decisions in Baraga County."

Rantanen's saga began back in 2008, when he was 18 years old and charged for sexually abusing a minor. He was convicted and sentenced to 4.75 years in prison for the crime, which occurred on the reservation.

He challenged the proceedings but the 6th Circuit, in a March 2012 decision, affirmed his conviction and sentence.

Rantanen, who will be turning 29 next week, completed his prison term in November 2013 but was still under ten years of supervised release. Upon his return home, he had numerous contacts with the justice system in Indian Country -- an arrest in June 2014, a guilty plea in January 2015 followed by a short stint in prison, a return to prison six months later, a sentence restriction in December 2015 based on drug abuse concerns and another arrest in January 2016 in connection with a series of crimes to which he pleaded guilty.

The last proceeding was the one when Rantanen asked to be barred from Baraga County. His attorney even brought up a medical assessment that backed up the request.

"After he is done with whatever additional prison time, he would do well not to return to the Baraga County area, and there are a lot of bad influences awaiting him there," a doctor at a substance abuse treatment facility wrote in the assessment, the court's decision read.

Baraga County is located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The areas around the communities of Baraga and L'Anse are where Rantanen kept getting into trouble. Both are located on the reservation.

6th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
U.S. v. Rantanen (March 29, 2017)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

Trump administration rolls out first rule under historic trust reform law
Interior Department sends out another $13.1M in Cobell buy-back offers
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs headed to New Mexico for hearing
House committee again leaves out Indian Country in hearing on Interior
Mark Maxey: Oklahoma tries to crush Native protesters with new law
Carletta Tilousi: Havasupai Tribe threatened by uranium development
Opinion: Don't be fooled by Jimmie Durham's claims of Cherokee heritage
Opinion: Economic development for Indian Country in upcoming farm bill
Government worker suspended after calling Native principal a 'rabid s----'
Kiowa citizen Tristan Ahtone to report on tribes for High Country News
New York Times features Dina Gilio-Whitaker in editorial on health care
Tribes break ground on monument to their history in Virginia's capitol
Warm Springs Tribes battle large wildfire that broke out behind casino
Spokane Tribe casino doesn't bother Air Force despite claims in lawsuit
Tribes in for long haul as oil continues to flow through Dakota Access
Mark Trahant: Don't plan on getting sick if you're from Indian Country
Tiffany Midge: I shall joke as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow
Director of Office of Indian Energy deletes offensive Twitter account
States cheer decision on grizzly bears amid tribal concerns about hunts
Washington asks high court to overturn Yakama Nation treaty victory
New York Times editorial board reconsiders stance on racist trademarks
Colville Tribes remove council member a week before citizens go to polls
Marijuana firm promises big investments with help of ex-Seminole chair
Lumbee Tribe ordered to release voter list to opponents of chairman
National Indian Gaming Association chooses David Bean as vice chair
Eastern Cherokee citizen promoted to vice president of casino marketing
Tribes in Connecticut waiting on governor to sign bill for new casino
Secretary Zinke removes protections for grizzlies over tribal objections
Court sets final deadline for remaining payments from Cobell settlement
Mary Annette Pember: Indian Child Welfare Act strengthens our families
Peter d'Errico: Navajo authors offer fresh perspective on sovereignty
Native woman was jailed and forced to ride with assailant during trial
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe challenges new permit for uranium operation
Montana tribes get new member of Congress who pleaded to assault
Connecticut tribes welcome court decision favoring new casino law
Pueblo tribes dispute state's demand for $40M in gaming revenues
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe remains confident of approval of casino
Nooksack Tribe accepting slot tickets while casino remains closed
Key House committee under fire for moving slowly on tribal agenda
Tribes go it alone on climate change as Trump team shifts priorities
Bryan Newland: President Trump's budget threatens tribal treaties
Steve Russell: The GI Bill changed the United States for the better
Harold Monteau: Democrats lack proactive agenda, proactive strategy
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe orders 20 non-citizens to leave reservation
Wilton Rancheria accused of working too closely with city on casino
Witness list for hearing on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Arne Vainio: What does the princess want to be when she grows up?
Doug George-Kanentiio: 'Spirit Game' brings Iroquois lacrosse to life
Cronkite News: Navajo activist vows fight against racist NFL mascot
Eric Hannel: Addressing the health care crisis among Native Americans
Bill for tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies advances in California
Ramapough Lunaape Nation wins reversal of ruling on prayer camp
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still waits on casino ruling from Trump team
Another former leader of Winnebago Tribe pleads in gaming theft case
Supreme Court ruling poses hurdle for opponents of racist NFL mascot
Change the Mascot campaign responds to negative Supreme Court ruling
Secretary Zinke set for another hearing on Interior Department budget
Mark Trahant: Republicans write health reform bill behind closed doors
Jeff Grubbe: Agua Caliente Band focuses on protecting our groundwater
>>> more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.