Articles Posted in Native American Law

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The case stemmed from a dispute over property subject to the terms of a will executed by a now-deceased member of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation (the Nation). Judge Robert Noonan, a county court and surrogate’s court judge, presided over the proceedings seeking to probate the will in the surrogate’s court. The Nation commenced a N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 proceeding in the Appellate Division seeking to prohibit the judge or any future surrogate in the estate proceeding from exercising jurisdiction over the case. The Appellate Division dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction, concluding that the proceeding must originate in Supreme Court. At issue on appeal was whether the proceeding must originate in Supreme Court because Judge Noonan’s position as Surrogate was not one listed in N.Y. C.P.L.R. 506(b)(1), which limits article 78 proceedings that may be commenced in the Appellate Division to those against County Court Judges and Supreme Court Justices, or whether Judge Noonan’s position as a county court judge required that the proceeding be commenced in the Appellate Division. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that, where Judge Noonan was acting as Surrogate with respect to the probate of the will, the Nation’s suit challenging those actions should have been brought in Supreme Court. View "Tonawanda Seneca Nation v. Noonan" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether Lewiston Golf Course Corporation, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of the Seneca Nation of Indians, a federal recognized Indian tribe, was protected from suit by the Seneca Nation’s sovereign immunity. Supreme Court ruled that Lewiston Golf did not qualify as an “arm” of the Seneca Nation and denied Lewiston Golf’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s foreclosure action with respect to its mechanic’s liens. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the most significant factors set forth in Matter of Ranson v. St. Regis Mohawk Educ. & Cmty. Fund counted against sovereign immunity on the part of Lewiston Golf. View "Sue/Perior Concrete & Paving, Inc. v. Corporation" on Justia Law