In a Letter to CA State Senator Noreen Evans
This legislation as written provides for accepting and entering a tribal money judgment based on timely
notification and the 4 limited criteria for respondent objection. If a tribe presents to State Superior Court a tribal court money judgment, the respondent should have the right to appeal the judgment. The Tribe in presenting its money judgment to the court must consider and accept presentation of the tribal court money judgment to the court as a waiver of its sovereign immunity to suit.
It is not unreasonable for the State of California to make specific requirements that tribal courts must meet in order to meet state court principles of comity in civil cases. Here again, it is the responsibility of the State Legislature to create law and establish standards. SB 406 provides inadequate standards. There are 567 tribes across the nation. Some are self-government tribes, some are organized under the Indian Reorganization Act and others are Non-Indian Re-organization Act tribes and some are treaty tribes. Each type of tribal government has a constitution that mayor may not provide for a tribal court. The language of this bill does not identify an entity or give guidance to the court for this type of verification.
This bill has passed the Senate...if you want fairness for CA citizens, you'd better act fast.