Federal judge won't stop Ute Tribe's court from hearing case

A view of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah. Photo from Ute Tribe

A federal judge won't stop the Ute Tribe from hearing a wrongful death lawsuit against 11 current and former police officers in Utah.

Todd Rory Murray died in April 2007 during an encounter within the boundaries of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. A medical officer ruled that the 21-year-old shot himself but the family believes he was murdered.

Todd Rory Murray. Family photo

Murray's family filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court in 2009. The officers were not at fault, a judge ruled in March 2014.

The family is now seeking justice in tribal court. The Utah Attorney General's Office wants the suit dismissed, claiming that the tribe lacks authority to hear the case, but Judge Bruce Jenkins declined to take action.

The decision in the federal rights lawsuit is being challenged before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is Jones v. Norton, No. 14-4040 and No. 14-4044.

Get the Story:
Federal judge won’t intervene in dispute over Ute Tribal Court jurisdiction (The Salt Lake Tribune 5/14)
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