Judge considers Catawba Nation leadership suit

A judge in South Carolina is hearing a lawsuit over the Catawba Nation's leadership.

A group of tribal members is suing the tribal council. They say the current slate of leaders is holding office illegally.

As part of the suit, the group wants more information about the tribe's finances. They say money from a 1993 Congressional settlement has been misused.

The tribal council says the plaintiffs have no right to financial records. The judge has asked for more information before ruling.

The case is in the state system. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state has jurisdiction to hear tribal disputes because the tribe doesn't have its own court.

But the tribe can't create a court unless it adopts a new constitution -- one of the ongoing issues in the leadership dispute.

Get the Story:
Tribal suit delayed as judge seeks information (The Rock Hill Herald 11/1)

5th Circuit Decision:
Wade v. Blue (May 26, 2004)

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