Does tribal sovereign immunity extend to Defendants who were incapable of acting in their official capacity because certain of them had criminal convictions and were barred by the tribal constitution from serving as tribal officials?
Plaintiffs are Native American Indians of different ancestral lineage within Pala who posed a threat to Defendants because they constituted a large voting block of Cupeños within Pala and sought accountability and transparency from
Defendants with respect to the Tribe’s financial dealings and other matters. The friction between Plaintiffs and Defendants escalated after one of Plaintiffs’ family members, King Freeman, circulated a petition for a special meeting to discuss the removal of one of the Defendants from office for engaging in criminal misconduct and violating his parole. Thereafter, in retaliation, Defendants disenrolled Freeman’s three children and five of his other relatives, on the grounds that they
did not have sufficient Pala Indian blood to be members of the Tribe because their
ancestor, Margarita Britten, was not a full-blooded Pala Indian.
disenrolling them, however, Defendants cleverly ensured that these disenrollees would not be able to seek recourse from tribal courts by withdrawing Pala from the Intertribal Court of Southern California. Six of the Plaintiffs are among these eight disenrollees.
Read these links for more on Pala:
Pala disenrolled 162 members
Pala Disenrolls families
Pala disenrollments led to hardship
DESPICABLE ROBERT SMITH
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