Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tribal Councils NOT IMMUNE from lawsuits

Here is the money quote from the recent UNANIMOUS Appelate Court decision on Vann v Kempthorne:

"Faced with allegations of ongoing constitutional and treaty violations, and a prospective request for injunctive relief, officers of the Cherokee Nation cannot seek shelter in the tribe's sovereign immunity," wrote Judge Thomas Griffith.

OP: Pechanga's Tribal Council has acted unconstitutionally (against the Pechanga Constitution and bylaw by overturning the will of the people.) With NO sovereign immunity, expect the court cases to come rolling out. The 500 people held in the moratorium have a good opportunity here. NOW will the ACLU step in against the OFFICERS of the Pechanga Tribe? And of course, some other individuals will no longer have sovereignty attached. Will the tribe relish the idea of spending MILLIONS to defend Ruth Masiel and Ihrene Scearse and Frances Miranda?

John Velie, partner in Velie & Velie in Norman, Okla., counsel to Vann and the Freedmen, said, "The court crafted an opinion that protects both tribal sovereignty and individual Indian civil rights. The is a great day for Indian Country." The suit seeks an injunction prohibiting future elections without Freedmen participation, including the right to run for office.


Anonymous said...

Is the Madriaga lawsuit still alive ? This would seem to give it life and strength? Thus tribal council,disenrollment committee, & legal dept. members would need to be concerned. They ignored their own bylaws & violated Hunters civil & human rights.

Also do you know why or when anthony,francis& family miranda were ever cleared? They were the ones behind the petition to stop disenrollment(out of fear of disenrollment) & francis had been suspended along with the Hunter who was chair of enrollment committee, BOTH families were in question??

After the petition passed the next monday francis returned victorious. Hunter member did not. She tried to return monthes later & was turned away.

Bottom line if francis was not allowed to return & vote against us they would not have had the votes (3-2). Chair,lamur, was supposed to be on our side & would have broken the tie in our favor!!

Creeper said...

YES, YES, YES, A big congratulations to Jon Velie and to the Freedman.

Bill said...

I would think that if tribal councils are not immune, then people like the CPP who gave false testimony like Yoli McCarter would definitely be liable.

Anonymous said...

Is the Madriaga lawsuit still alive ????. Tribal Members in power ignored the pechanga constitution, bylaws & violated Hunters civil & human rights.

After the petition passed the next monday francis m. returned victorious. Hunter member(e.c. chair) did not,was she too busy?(memorabilia-just kidding)

She tried to return monthes later & was turned away.

Bottom line if francis was not allowed to return & vote against the Hunters they would not have had the votes (3-2). Wake up people!!

hello anyone out there??
No comment?
Where is Phil C. the enforcer?
You got kids !

Creeper said...

Anonymus, you want to know if the Madriaga lawsuit is still alive? Madriaga's are Hunter's and they don't go away quietly and they dont give up, neither do the Apish. Just like the song say's "We stand our ground and we won't back down"

Phil Cuevas said...

The enforcer?

'aamokat said...

The descendants of Candelaria Nesecat Flores, which include Francis and Anthony Miranda, were one of the families cleared in 2003 by only three members of enrollment committee which is less than the legal quorum, which is supposed to be a minimum of 51 percent or six members of the ten member committee.

Francis Miranda was reinstated along with Ruth Masiel and Irene Scarce to the enrollment committee and they were allowed to vote on the the cases of both the descendants of Manuela Miranda, by the way who was the half sister of Francis' and Anthony's ancestor, and also on the descedants of Paulina Hunter.

Ruth, Irene, and Francis were the deciding votes on the Hunter case and this was after enrollment committee members of both the Hunters and M Mirandas had filed papers challenging their families' membership.

Once they were cleared, again without a legal quorum, they still should not have been allowed to rule on families who had challenged their membership, which violated the Pechanga constitution's clause of fair and impartial treatment of tribal members.

As I have said in other threads, if we had been cleared from disenrollment would it have been fair to allow my family members to vote on cases involving famlies who had challenged our membership?


Anthony Miranda, who reportedly tried to talk Francis out of going forward with any disenrollments, was the person who put together the petition in 2005 to end disenrollment as a part of Pechanga law.

So the 2005 petition had nothing to do with his family being cleared in 2003.

But did he submit the petition out of the goodness of his heart or was he trying to stop any future attempts of someone trying to get rid of his family?