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Business | Law
Oglala Sioux Tribe in sovereign immunity disput


The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota is in federal court today over a sovereign immunity dispute with an Indian-owned construction company.

An arbitrator ordered the tribe to pay $1.2 million to C&W Construction for road work on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the tribe waived its sovereign immunity through four contracts.

C&W sought to enforce the award in state court by seeking to garnish tribal property and funds held by various entities, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs and an off-reservation bank. The tribe responded by filing a lawsuit in federal court.

Judge Karen Schreier issued a temporary restraining order against the effort, citing numerous factors in favor of the tribe. The TRO expires today pending further action by the district court.

Get the Story:
Tribe wants to halt construction firm's collection efforts (The Rapid City Journal 4/3)

District Court Decision:
Oglala Sioux Tribe v. C&W Enterprises (March 25, 2009)

8th Circuit Decision:
Oglala Sioux Tribe v. C&W Enterprises (September 5, 2008)

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Appeals court upholds Poarch Creek immunity (3/31)
San Manuel Band cites immunity in $50M suit (3/31)
Judge dismisses lawsuit against Oneida Nation (3/31)