Thursday, October 31, 2013

Saginaw Chippewa Disenrollment Ruling DELAYED.

Noting the impact of his decision and vowing not to issue a hasty ruling he’d regret, a Saginaw Chippewa Tribal judge on Wednesday asked for time to decide a case that would kick two tribal elders and two deceased members from the Tribal rolls along with 40 living descendants.
“I know this is very personal for all of you,” Judge Patrick Shannon told 28 members in Tribal Court. “I’m going to take some time. I don’t want to do anything from the bench I’m going to regret.”
Four cases under consideration would remove 40 members, and strip them of benefits including monthly payments from casino gaming profits, because their ancestors trace to siblings of members listed on historic base rolls, but not to the members themselves.
Up to 400 members could eventually be removed from Tribal rolls under an appellate court ruling last month that said members must trace directly to those listed on base rolls, and not to siblings or other relatives of the original members.
The four cases considered Wednesday have wound their way through the Tribal administrative and court system for several years, but were put on hold a year ago while the separate appellate case considered so-called collateral-tracing membership.
Attorney Paula Fisher, representing the four facing disenrollment and their descendants, wants further administrative investigations and determinations because all four cases had won initial decisions until Tribal attorneys, under direction of Tribal Council, appealed.
“The only remedy the Tribe had sought before the court was that these cases be remanded for further (administrative) findings,” Fisher argued. “There has been no finding (that they became members because of) gross negligence or wanton and willful disregard.”
But the Tribe’s attorney argued that appeals and arguments are exhausted and all four and their descendants should be removed from membership rolls now.
“It’s extremely frustrating to be here now hearing this argument that should have been made 16 months ago,” said Sarah Van Norman, representing the Tribe. “It appears that this is nothing more than an effort to delay.”
Fisher, though, argued that her request for an administrative investigation and determination could not have been made sooner, nor the appeal filed earlier, because the members in question had won the initial administrative round and agreed to postpone further proceedings while the separate collateral case was pursued.
Judge Shannon said he would rule on the matter by Thursday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Get the word out there, Charmaine Benz does not want follow the tribes constitute and will not protect the safety and welfare of our tribal children, show her the door.