Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cherokee Freedmen Prevail in Court Hurdle: Tribal Officers CAN BE SUED in Federal Court

Tribal officers can be sued in federal court regarding black Cherokee's rights to continuing tribal membership under 1866 treaty. In 2008, the DC appellate court had stated that the tribe had treated away its right to discriminate against the freedmen.

From the judges decision in the Cherokee Freedmen case:  

As a practical matter, therefore, the Cherokee Nation and the Principal Chief in his official capacity are one and the same in an Ex parte Young suit for declaratory and injunctive
relief. As a result, the Principal Chief can adequately represent the Cherokee Nation in this suit, meaning that the Cherokee Nation itself is not a required party for purposes of
Rule 19.
By contrast, if we accepted the Cherokee Nation’s position, official-action suits against government officials
would have to be routinely dismissed, at least absent some statutory exception to Rule 19, because the government entity in question would be a required party yet would be immune from suit and so could not be joined. But that is not how the Ex parte Young doctrine and Rule 19 case law has developed.

In light of our disposition, we need not reach the Freedmen’s argument that the Cherokee Nation waived its
sovereign immunity by filing a related suit in Oklahoma. We reverse the judgment of the District Court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


Anonymous said...

So does that mean the six that we're banished becaues they wanted to pray and pick sage can sue for unlawful detainment?

Anonymous said...

Wee coming for you Robert smith,see you soon! Big baby!

Dennis Chappabitty Attorney at Law said...

Unfortunate that the unjust and cruel disenrollments in California do not get the same level of press and media coverage as the Idle No More Campaign. When corrupt tribal officials disenroll their own members it is an injustice against tribal sovereignty equal to or greater than what Chief Spence is protesting about in Canada. Tribes need to protest against the anti-tribal sovereignty of tribes like Pala who are hiding cowardly behind the principle of sovereign immunity to destroy the lives of good innocent people and their families.