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Law
Supreme Court to hear jurisdiction case


Update: The Supreme Court has posted the oral argument transcript. Gavin Clarkson (Choctaw), of the University of Michigan, attended the hearing and will provide his report and commentary for Indianz.Com tomorrow.

The U.S. Supreme Court today is holding oral arguments in Plains Commerce v. Long.

The court will determine if Plains Commerce Bank of South Dakota is subject to the jurisdiction of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. A tribal court jury awarded a nearly $900,000 verdict to a tribal couple who had a contract with the bank.

Normally, tribes do not have jurisdiction over non-Indians or non-Indian entities. But the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said Plains Commerce established a consensual relationship with Ronnie and Lila Long, tribal members who operate a farm on the reservation.

The bank says the consensual relationship was not explicit. The banking industry, several states and a conservative legal group are backing Plains Commerce.

The Department of Justice is backing the Longs. The National Congress of American Indians, the Navajo Nation and advocates for Native women are joining the administration in supporting tribal court jurisdiction.

Relevant Documents:
Docket Sheet: No. 07-411 | Briefs on the Merits

Appeals Court Decision:
Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land and Cattle Company (June 26, 2007)

Lower Court Decision:
Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land and Cattle Company (July 18, 2006)

Related Decision:
Smith v. Salish Kootenai College (January 10, 2006)

Related Stories:
DOJ to join argument in tribal court jurisdiction case (4/3)
Bush brief backs tribal court jurisdiction (3/24)
Opinion: No tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians (3/3)
Supreme Court agrees to hear tribal jurisdiction case (1/8)
Appeals court upholds tribal verdict in bank loan case (6/28)
9th Circuit vacates tribal jurisdiction ruling (2/2)
Court subjects non-Indian bank to tribal laws (7/20)
Appeals court upholds tribal jurisdiction after rehearing (01/11)