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choctaw casino - district CHOCTAW CASINO OF POCOLA :: 2009 :: Oklahoma Supreme Court Decisions :: Oklahoma Case Law :: Oklahoma Law :: US Law :: Justia GRIFFITH v.
ON APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT, LEFLORE COUNTY, OKLAHOMA, THE HONORABLE TED A.
KNIGHT, DISTRICT JUDGE ¶0 Dorothy Griffith filed a petition in the state district court against the Choctaw Nation and its casino in Pocola, Oklahoma, to recover tort damages.
The Choctaw Nation moved to dismiss on the basis of tribal sovereign immunity.
The district court dismissed the petition.
We retained the appeal to address an issue of statewide importance: Whether the state district court is a "court of competent jurisdiction" as that phrase is used in the statutory class III gaming compact, DISMISSAL ORDER OF THE DISTRICT COURT REVERSED; CAUSE REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.
Janzen and Brett D.
PER CURIAM: ¶1 One question is presented in this appeal: Is the state district court a court of competent jurisdiction as used in the gaming compact between the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the State of Oklahoma such that the district court may exercise jurisdiction over this Indian-country arising negligence action filed by a casino patron against the Choctaw tribe and its casino?
We answer in the affirmative.
Facts and Proceedings ¶2 The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a federally recognized Indian tribe ¶3 Dorothy Griffith ¶4 Griffith filed a tort action in the state district court in LeFlore County against the casino and the Tribe.
The Tribe moved to dismiss the tort action on the basis of tribal sovereign immunity from suit in state court, arguing that Oklahoma state courts may not exercise jurisdiction over a sovereign Indian tribe unless Congress or the Indian tribe has clearly consented to suit in state court or otherwise clearly waived tribal immunity.
Griffith responded that the Tribe consented to suit in the compact which states the "tribe consents to suit on a limited basis with respect to tort claims" and the "tribe consents to suit against the enterprise in a court of competent jurisdiction with respect to tort claims.
The Honorable Ted A.
Knight, Judge of the District Court, concluded that tribal courts and federal courts have jurisdiction over Indian tribes but state courts do not and dismissed the action.
¶5 Griffith appealed the dismissal.
The Tribe moved to make this appeal a companion to the appeal from the same district court in Dye v.
Choctaw Casino of Pocola, Oklahoma, No.
The meaning of the phrase "court of competent jurisdiction" as used in the compact is also a pivotal issue in the Dye case.
This Court denied the motion, noting the related Dye case, and assigned the appeal to the Court of Civil Appeals.
Thereafter, this Court received a certified question as to whether the district court in Rogers County, Oklahoma, is a "court of competent jurisdiction" as that phrase is used in the tribal gaming compact between the Cherokee Nation and the State of Oklahoma in Cossey v.
Cherokee Nation Enterprises, LLC, No.
We withdrew this case from assignment to the Court of Civil Appeals.
¶6 We recently handed down our opinion in Cossey v.
Cherokee Nation Enterprises, LLC, II.
Webster's New International Dictionary 461 3rd ed.
The Tribe urges that the compact is a purely private contractual matter.
However, the Model Tribal Gaming Compact may not be viewed as an ordinary private contract because it is a voter-approved statute codified in the Oklahoma Statutes.
The compact is public law and must be interpreted by use of canons of statutory construction.
Statutory construction is a question of law which we review de novo, without deference to the lower court.
Town of Forest Park, III.
The Indian Click at this page Regulatory Act IGRA ¶8 In 1987, the United States Supreme Court decided that an Indian tribe may operate bingo games on an Indian reservation located in a state that permits gaming for any purpose and that state law does not apply to bingo games played predominantly by non-Indians coming onto the Indian reservation.
Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, ¶9 Congress had considered the problems and benefits of Indian gaming in committee hearings for at least three years before Cabazon.
Congress enacted Public Law 100-446, finding that gaming was a means of economic development for the tribes that would promote tribal self-sufficiency and strengthened tribal governments.
In Public Law 100-446, Congress legalized gaming in Indian country ¶10 Congress attempted to balance the federal, tribal and state interests in Indian gaming through a system of joint regulation in IGRA.
¶11 In creating the tribal-state compact system and authorizing state regulation of gambling in Indian country, IGRA does not specifically address the subjects of damages to members of the public that may be caused by wrongful activity of Indian tribes and the judicial relief against the tribes.
Instead, IGRA specifically authorizes the tribes https://veronsmeatmarket.com/casino/casino-florida-fort-myers-weather.html states to compact as to "any other subjects that are directly or indirectly related to the operation of gaming activities.
Tribes and states may allocate the applicable law and forum for adjudication of patron tort claims.
The State-Tribal Gaming Act and The Model Tribal Gaming Compact ¶12 In 1988, the Oklahoma Legislature authorized the Governor to negotiate and enter into cooperative agreements with federally recognized Indian tribes in furtherance of federal policy and state-tribal relations, subject to approval by a legislative Joint Committee on State-Tribal Relations.
¶13 In 2004, Oklahoma voters approved casino-style gambling at horse race tracks and in Indian country.
The Oklahoma Legislature passed the State-Tribal Gaming Act and sent it to a vote of the people.
¶14 The model compact is offered, all or none, to the Indian tribes of Oklahoma, which if accepted, constitutes the gaming compact between this state and the accepting tribe for purposes of IGRA without any further action on behalf of the State of Oklahoma.
The model compact consists of Part 1 through Part 16.
The model compact holland casino 7 the fee to be paid to the state by the Indian tribe for the "substantial exclusivity and, consistent with the goals of IGRA, special opportunities for tribal economic opportunity through gaming within the external boundaries of Oklahoma in respect to the covered games.
¶16 As to suits on tort claims, the tort claimant ¶17 The model compact unmistakably gives the casino patron the right to recover damages on tort claims against the Indian tribe and against the tribe's enterprise.
The compact does not, however, restrict the casino patron to tort damages under tribal law nor does it limit the casino patron to suit against the tribe or its enterprise in https://veronsmeatmarket.com/casino/casino-sheet-cake-ideas.html court.
¶18 Although there is no language in the model compact making tribal law or tribal courts the exclusive protection for a wrongfully injured casino patron, the Tribe takes the position that Part 9 limits its consent to suit to the tribal courts only.
Part 9 reads: "This compact shall not alter tribal, federal or state civil adjudicatory or criminal jurisdiction.
¶19 The model compact governs Indian-country gaming activities by consent of the Indian tribe.
It acknowledges that the "tribe is a federally recognized tribal government possessing sovereign powers and the rights of self-government," ¶20 We have carefully perused the model compact and casino underground bobs burgers the provisions in Part 6 pertaining to a casino patron's tort claim against the tribe.
We conclude that the Tribe clearly and unequivocally consented to be sued for tort damages by a casino patron, whether suit be brought in state court, federal court, or tribal court.
The Tribe, on the other hand, took an unsettled position that exclusive jurisdiction over Indian-country arising torts was vested in the tribal courts at the time the compact was executed, the compact preserved the tribal court's exclusive jurisdiction, and therefore, the consent to suit in a court of competent jurisdiction in the compact is consent to suit in tribal court only.
¶22 The Tribe argued that this Court has already recognized that a controversy such as the instant one lies exclusively in tribal court.
The Tribe relies on an unpublished order of this Court in Muskogee Creek Nation Gaming Commission v.
The Honorable Mary Fitzgerald, District Judge, No.
In that original action, the Creek Nation asked this Court to prohibit the state district court judge from proceeding further in Manwarring v.
Muskogee Creek Nation Gaming Commission, No.
CJ-207-745, Tulsa County District Court.
This Court assumed original jurisdiction and issued the writ in an unpublished order.
An unpublished order has no precedential value.
I Disposition of a case without a formal published opinion means that the Court did not believe the case involved any new point of law making the decision of value as precedent.
The non-precedential order in the Muskogee Creek Nation Gaming Commission case settled an issue for the involved parties only.
An unpublished order is the law of the case but not the law of the State.
¶23 The Tribe also made a very tenuous argument that the meaning of the words "court of competent jurisdiction" "are not for this Court to decide" because Part 12 of the compact expressly provides that interpretation issues shall be decided in arbitration with review in the federal courts.
Part 12 of the compact deals with resolution of disputes between the parties - the tribe and the state.
¶24 The phrase "court of competent jurisdiction" as used in federal statutes has long been click here to mean federal and state courts, Blackburn v.
Portland Gold Mining Co.
Rutter, ¶25 Federal, state, and even tribal laws utilize the phrase "court of competent jurisdiction.
Kiowa Tribe of Okla.
Summary ¶27 In summary, the Tribe claims that "in a court of competent jurisdiction" means "in tribal court only.
It is that simple.
The language in other tribal compacts have specified that tort actions against the tribe may be filed in tribal court only.
We reject the Tribe's claim that the proponents of the state-tribal gaming legislation really intended to waive tribal immunity "in tribal court only" when the compact does not disclose that intent.
¶28 We hold that Oklahoma district courts are "courts of competent jurisdiction" as that phrase is used in the Model Tribal Gaming Compact codified at DISMISSAL ORDER OF THE DISTRICT COURT REVERSED; CAUSE REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.
FOOTNOTES 1 Notice of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2008.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs lists 38 federally-recognized Indian tribes in Oklahoma in its notice published in the Federal Registry on July 12, 2002.
Florida,48 n.
The Secretary of the Interior did not approve the compact.
The compact was considered approved forty-five days after its submission, 25 U.
§ 2710 d 7 Cand became effective February 9, 2005, the date notice was published in the Federal Register.
The pre-judicial procedure requires a click claimant to give notice of the claim to the Indian tribe and its enterprise as a prerequisite to filing a judicial proceeding.
see more the tribe or the enterprise does not act upon the notice, the tort claim is deemed denied.
Upon denial of the claim, the claimant may seek a judicial remedy.
§ 1166 legalizes Indian-country gaming conducted in compliance with IGRA; imposes state gambling law, including the licensing, regulation, or prohibition of gambling, upon any other Indian-country gambling in the same manner and to the same extent elsewhere in the state; and places jurisdiction with the United States to prosecute violations of the state gambling laws unless the Indian tribe consents to state jurisdiction.
§§ 1167 and 1168 criminalize thefts from Indian casinos.
§ 2702; created the National Indian Gaming Commission within the U.
Department of Interior, id.
§ 2704, to monitor class II gaming operations and to approve tribal ordinances and tribal management contracts for class II and class III gaming, id.
§ 2706; and established a tribal-state compact system to regulate class III gaming.
In 1989, the Oklahoma Legislature amended § 1221 to also authorize political subdivisions to enter into agreements with the tribes on subjects of mutual interest such as law enforcement.
In 1991, the Legislature required cooperative agreements, upon approval by the Joint Committee read more State-Tribal Relations, to be filed with the Secretary of State.
In 1993, the Legislature provided for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to monitor any Indian gaming compacts approved under §§ 1221-1222.
Further, in 1992, the Oklahoma Legislature authorized the Governor to enter into cigarette and tobacco products tax compacts with the tribes.
Supreme Court new hampshire in casino not determined where the authority lies within a state's governmental framework to compact with Indian tribes.
It has ruled that where the involved federal choctaw casino - district is silent on the issue of state authority, that issue will be determined under state law.
Confederated Bands and Tribes of the Yakima Indian Nations,493 n.
Sims,28, 71 S.
IGRA is silent as to where state authority lies to enter into gaming compacts with Indian tribes.
The following compacts provide that "upon denial of a claim redress must be sought exclusively in Tribe's Courts": 1 Peoria Tribe of Indians filed October 18, 2004, 2 Seneca-Cayuga Tribe filed October 18, 2001, and 3 Absentee Shawnee Tribe filed March 28, 2001.
The following compacts, in similar language, provide that "upon denial of a claim redress must be sought exclusively in Nation's Courts": 1 Chickasaw Nation filed August 2, 2004, 2 Ponca Tribe filed October 19, 2001, and 3 Kaw Nation filed March 28, 2001.
Two compacts provide for suit in the Court of Indian Offenses created in the Code of Federal Regulations and referred to as CFR courts.
The compact with the Quapaw Tribe filed January 29, 2002, provides: "Such notices shall explain that upon denial of a claim redress must be sought exclusively against the operator in C.
Such notices will also indicate that the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma does not in any way agree to be amenable to suit for any reason.
It provides: "Comanche hereby transfers to the State of Oklahoma concurrent civil and criminal jurisdiction, except for taxing authority, to enforce the Act and Rules.
Our research does not reveal that any of these compacts has been the subject of a suit in state court.
We note these quil ceda casino marysville only for the historical value.
The Ballot Title in the legislative referendum proposing enactment of State-Tribal Gaming Act reads: This measure creates the State-Tribal Gaming Act.
It would allow some types of gaming machines at some horse race tracks in this state.
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission would oversee the new types of gaming machines.
It would require that a portion of the money wagered on such gaming be paid to the state.
Some of the money would go to purses for horse races.
Some of the money would go to the horse choctaw casino - district tracks.
The measure also provides a model compact which Indian tribes may enter into and then operate such gaming machines on Indian lands.
The model compact provides regulatory controls for the gaming authorized by the compact.
The Office of State Finance would have the authority to oversee this gaming by the tribes.
The state's portion of the money from the gaming authorized by this act would go for treatment of compulsive gambling disorders, to the Education Reform Revolving Fund and for college scholarships.
§ 281, Part 3.
§ 281, Part 8 entitled STATE MONITORING OF COMPACT, which authorizes state oversight of tribal regulation of class III gaming for compliance with state law as well as federal or tribal law.
The term "monitoring" is used in the compact similar to IGRA's use of that term in describing the powers of the National Indian Gaming Commission that regulates and oversees the tribal regulation of class II gaming.
§ 281, Part 6 A relating to tort claimsPart 6 B relating to prize claimsand Part 6 C relating to suits against the tribe or tribal agency.
§ 281, Part 3 13 defining the tribal enterprise as the tribe or tribal agency.
§ 152 1 21 Section 281, Part 6 A of the model compact reads: A.
The enterprise shall ensure that patrons of a facility are afforded due process in seeking and receiving just and reasonable compensation for a tort claim for personal injury or property damage against the enterprise arising out of incidents occurring at a facility, hereinafter "tort claim", as follows: 1.
During the term of this Compact, the enterprise shall maintain public liability insurance for the express purpose of covering and satisfying tort claims.
No tort claim shall be paid, or be the subject of any award, in excess of the limit of liability; 2.
The tribe consents to suit on a limited basis with respect to tort claims subject to the limitations set forth in this subsection and subsection C of this Part.
No consents to suit with respect to tort claims, or as to any other claims against the tribe shall be deemed to have been made under this Compact, except as provided in subsections B and C of this Part; 3.
The enterprise's insurance policy shall include an endorsement providing that the insurer may not invoke tribal sovereign immunity in connection with any claim made within the limit of liability if the claim complies with the limited consent provisions of subsection C of this Part.
Copies of all such insurance policies shall be forwarded to the SCA; 4.
Any patron having a tort claim shall file a written tort claim notice by delivery to the enterprise or the TCA.
The date the tort claim notice is filed with the enterprise or the TCA shall be deemed the official date of filing the tort claim notice.
The tort claim notice shall be filed within one 1 year of the date of the event which allegedly caused the claimed loss.
Failure to file the tort claim notice during such period of time shall forever bar such tort claim; provided that a tort claim notice filed with the enterprise or the TCA more than ninety 90 days, but within one 1 year, after the event shall be deemed to be timely filed, but any judgment thereon shall be reduced by ten percent 10%.
If the tort claim notice read article filed with the TCA, the TCA shall forward a copy of the tort claim to the enterprise and the SCA within forty-eight 48 hours of filing, and if the tort claim notice is filed with the enterprise, the enterprise shall forward a copy of the tort claim to the TCA and the SCA within forty-eight 48 hours of filing; 6.
The tort claim notice shall state the date, time, place and circumstances of the incident upon which the tort claim is based, the identity of any persons known to have information regarding the incident, including employees or others involved in or who witnessed the incident, the amount of compensation and the basis for said relief; the name, address and telephone number of the claimant, and the name, address and telephone number of any representative authorized to act or settle the claim on behalf of the claimant; 7.
All tort claim notices shall be signed by the claimant.
The rules and regulations may additionally require that the tort claim notices be signed under oath.
The enterprise shall promptly review, investigate, and make a determination regarding the tort claim.
Any portion of a tort claim which is unresolved shall be deemed denied if the enterprise fails to notify the claimant in writing of its approval within ninety 90 days of the filing date, unless the parties by written agreement extend the date by which a denial shall be deemed issued if no other action is taken.
Each extension shall be for no more than ninety 90 days, but there shall be no limit on the number of written agreements for extensions, provided that no written agreement for extension shall be valid unless signed by the claimant and an authorized representative of the enterprise.
The claimant and the enterprise may continue attempts to settle a claim beyond an extended date; provided, settlement negotiations shall not extend the date of denial in the absence of a written agreement for extension as required by this paragraph; 9.
A judicial proceeding for any cause arising from a tort claim may be maintained in accordance with and subject to the limitations of subsection C of this Part only if the following requirements have been met: a.
Notices explaining the procedure and time limitations with respect to making a tort claim shall be prominently posted in the facility.
Such notices shall explain the method and places for making a tort claim, that this procedure is the exclusive method of making a tort claim, and that claims that do not follow these procedures shall be forever barred.
The enterprise shall make pamphlets containing the requirements in this subsection readily available to all patrons of the facility and shall provide such pamphlets to a claimant within five 5 days of the filing of a claim.
§ 281, Part 6 A 9.
§ 281, Part 6 A 2.
§ 281, Part 6 C.
Limited Consent to Suit for Tort Claims and Prize Claims.
The tribe consents to suit against the enterprise in a court of competent jurisdiction with respect to a tort claim or prize claim if all requirements of paragraph 9 of subsection A or all requirements of paragraph 11 of subsection B of this Part have been met; provided that such consent shall be subject to the following additional conditions and limitations: 1.
For tort claims, consent to suit is granted only to the extent such claim or any award or judgment rendered thereon does not exceed the limit of liability.
Under no circumstances shall any consent to suit be effective as to any award which exceeds such applicable amounts.
This consent shall only extend to the patron actually claiming to have been injured.
A tort claim shall not be assignable.
In the event any assignment of the tort claim is made in violation of this Compact, or any person other than the patron claiming the injury becomes a party to any action hereunder, this consent shall be deemed revoked for all purposes.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, consent to suit shall not be revoked if an action on a tort claim is filed by i a court appointed representative of a claimant's estate, ii an indispensable party, or iii a health provider or other party subrogated to the claimant's rights by virtue of any insurance policy; provided, that nothing herein is intended to, or shall constitute a consent to suit against the enterprise as to such party except to the extent such party's claim is: a.
VII, subject to our federal constitution, Okla.
I, § 1, and protected from legislative encroachment by our separation of powers rule, Okla.
Generally a state statute such as the model compact cannot alter the adjudicatory jurisdiction constitutionally vested in our state courts nor can a state statute alter federal or tribal adjudicatory powers.
§ 281, Https://veronsmeatmarket.com/casino/silverton-casino-food-court.html 2 3.
§ 3007 1978provides for jurisdiction choctaw casino - district a civil action involving interstate horseracing in the federal district court in the host state or the off-track state concurrent with that of any state court of competent jurisdiction located in the host state or the off-track state.
VIII, § 1 requires that elected state officers shall automatically be suspended upon their being declared guilty of a felony by a court of competent jurisdiction.
And, the Constitution of the Choctaw Nation July 9, 1983art.
Our holding is rested upon the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.
§§ 2701-2722, the state statutory model compact, and basic rules of statutory construction.
I join fully in our holding, and I concur fully in today's per curiam opinion.
I write separately to direct attention sunset jazz darwin casino the compact language requiring compliance with state law in the operation of Indian gambling casinos and to emphasize the conformity of today's opinion and our recent opinion in Cossey v.
¶2 The model compact, at Part 8, provides casino park grill menu the operation of a class III gaming casino in Indian country must comply with state law.
Part 8 delineates the oversight and monitoring duties of the Office of State Finance as the state compliance agent SCArequiring the SCA to give written notice of any suspected "violation of this Compact or of law" to the tribal compliance officer TCAmodel compact at Part 8 Aand to report any violations of "federal, state, or tribal laws, the rules and regulations, or this Compact" to the TCA.
Part 8 limits the state's oversight by withholding authority from the state "to regulate the tribe's government, including the TCA, or to interfere with the tribe's selection of its governmental officers.
The importance of Part 8 here is that it plainly requires Indian tribes to comply with state law in operating their gambling casinos, except when state law interferes with tribal self-government.
In my view, Part 8 is strong support for including state district courts within the meaning of "courts click here competent jurisdiction.
Cherokee Nation Enterprises, LLC compels today's holding.
Notwithstanding the many factors that distinguish Cossey from the instant case, the primary issue in Cossey was the same as the issue here - whether the state district court is a court of competent jurisdiction to entertain an Indian casino patron's tort claim against an Indian tribe under the model compact.
Cossey analyzed federal and state jurisprudence in assigning meaning to "court of competent jurisprudence" in the model compact1 and reached the same conclusion that today's per curiam opinion reached through its statutory construction analysis.
FOOTNOTES 1 Cossey followed 1 state jurisprudence for the meaning of "court of competent jurisdiction," relying on Ex Parte Plaistridge, 1918 OK 352, 173 P.
Levitt,110 S.
Hicks,121 S.
United States,101 S.
A-1 Contractors,117 S.
Hicks,121 S.
It is in light of the tripartite joinder of sovereign powers that we casino pojoaque interpret the key phrase "a court of competent jurisdiction.
Instead, we acknowledge that each of them, in its own court, may assume original jurisdiction over the casino patron's tort claim.
The Nation has agreed to share jurisdiction with the other two sovereigns, the State and the federal government.
The casino patron's tort claim is not, and cannot be, denominated as Indian law.
Inasmuch as the casino patron's tort claim is a product created by a legal cooperation among the three sovereigns, the construction to be placed on the key phrase "the court of competent jurisdiction" must extend equal treatment to each of these participating governments.
The compact's textual impact plainly contemplates that jurisdiction over a casino patron's tort claim is to be shared.
See Parts 6 and 9.
¶3 A casino patron's tort claim for injury sustained on tribal casino's premises is governed neither by tribal law nor by Oklahoma state law.
Rather, it is the product of compact-agreed terms of liability that pharaohs fire casino be imposed.
In the absence of a definition different from that which stands crafted by the text for the key term "the court of competent jurisdiction", the phrase used by the compact should include a proper court of all three powers which participated in creating the compact.
FOOTNOTES 1 25 U.
Ct 1026, 1030 1989 holding that absent an ambiguity or a result that is at odds with a statute's purposes, statutory provisions must be interpreted according to their plain meaning.
Part 9 provides that tribal, federal and state governments retain their respective spheres of civil adjudicative jurisdiction over gaming in Indian country.
Cherokee Nation Enterprises, LLC.
I was troubled by two implications in Cossey.
source writing implied that: 1 tribal courts are not courts of competent jurisdiction; and 2 jurisdiction might depend on whether the casino patron was an Indian or a non-Indian.
Today's opinion clearly dispels these concerns, holding that: 1 the casino patron may select tribal courts as a forum for bringing such a tort claim because a tribal court is "court of competent jurisdiction;" and 2 recognizing that the plaintiff is a non-Indian, non-tribal member who voluntarily entered onto tribal land to do business, thus subjecting herself to potential tribal court jurisdiction.
¶2 Nevertheless, the majority's analysis of the issues continues to bother me.
It is the remainder of the statement which is unsupported.
The crux of this dispute, and the reason for five separate writings in this cause as well as five separate writings in Cossey, is that the compact is obviously ambiguous because it does not clearly and unequivocally state which court has jurisdiction.
¶3 The majority makes the finding of clarity without supporting evidence.
Nevertheless, the Court might have had the opportunity to shed light on this ambiguity.
In the companion case of Dye v.
Choctaw Casino of Pocola, No.
This leads to the compact's ambiguity.
Because Oklahoma is not a P.
Yet, settling this question is critical to the analysis because of the Part 9 language.
Neither the majority in today's opinion nor Cossey discusses or analyzes any of the cases which have addressed this issue and unanimously held that the tribal courts have jurisdiction some negotiated under the compact, some inherent.
¶6 Part 6 A 2in which the tribe consents to suit, is limited by subsection "C of https://veronsmeatmarket.com/casino/casino-times-bandcamp.html part.
Obviously, the compact could have referred to "tribal court only," "state court only," or "both" courts to reflect the parties' intent, but it does not.
Consequently, the portion of the compact in which existing jurisdiction is not altered becomes imperative when determining intent -- yet the question remains ignored and the Court merely pontificates about the meaning.
I do believe that because one size doesn't fit all insofar as tribal courts are concerned, the compact language was deliberately left nonspecific so that the compact could be adapted to fit various jurisdictional scenarios.
¶7 All statutory ambiguities are generally construed in favor of Indian sovereignty.
¶8 While this may one day be click law -- depending on what the United States Supreme Court ultimately decides -- it is more info now, nor has the concurring opinion provided any support in its assertions to show that it is.
The majority's analysis is bottomed on the traditional right of a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit to choose the venue of the lawsuit.
Again I ask, why would Congress have included a provision in IGRA allowing Tribes and States to negotiate an allocation of jurisdiction to the states if state courts, federal courts, and tribal courts already had such jurisdiction?
If this were true, the jurisdiction provisions of IGRA are meaningless.
¶9 I am also puzzled by the majority's use of the "voter-approved" compact by citing the ballot title in its attempt to bolster the argument that the compact is no ordinary contract and that the voters somehow approved one court's jurisdiction over another.
The verbatim recitation of the ballot title clearly shows the voters neither implicitly nor expressly knowingly voted concerning the jurisdiction of tort claims.
It would allow some types of gaming machines at some horse race tracks in this state.
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission would oversee the new types of gaming machines.
It would require that a portion of the money wagered on such gaming be paid to the state.
Some of the money would go to purses for horse races.
Some of the money would go to the horse race tracks.
The measure also provides a model compact which Indian tribes may enter into and then operate such gaming machines on Indian lands.
The model compact provides regulatory controls for gaming authorized by the compact.
The Office of State Finance would have the authority to oversee this gaming by the tribes.
The state's portion of the money from the gaming authorized by this act would go for treatment of compulsive gambling disorders, to the Education Reform Revolving Fund and for college scholarships.
Clearly, the voters were asked to decide whether to allow gaming at race tracks and gaming on Indian land.
There is nothing in this measure notifying the voter of anything at all regarding tort claims, much less which court would have jurisdiction of such claims.
Consequently, the premise of both the majority opinion and the concurring opinion that "court of competent jurisdiction" is voter-sanctioned to casino money laundering methods in urdu the state courts over the tribal court is inexplicable.
¶10 The majority opinion surmises that the state, by virtue of IGRA and the language of the compact, acquires concurrent jurisdiction with tribal courts over gaming-related tort claims against Indian Tribes which have a Gaming Compact with the state.
To reach this conclusion, the majority must assume, without deciding, that courts of the State of Oklahoma are generally courts of competent jurisdiction to adjudicate tort claims against Indian tribes for tribal activity on tribal land.
It intimates that this jurisdiction is established by the authority of the Oklahoma constitution and that no federal law or state statute may alter it.
¶11 The fallacy of this reasoning is exemplified by the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act FICWA.
Under certain circumstances Oklahoma lacks any authority over an Indian child.
CONCLUSION ¶12 The United States Constitution recognizes that Indian Tribes are to be treated on an equal level with the governments of foreign nations as well as the states.
¶13 This whole discussion may become moot.
The compact became effective February 9, 2005, and it does not expire until 2020.
At that time it automatically renews for successive 15 year periods.
However, the compact also provides that it may be terminated by mutual consent.
If the Tribe and the State are truly in accord with what was their mutual intent at the time of compacting, they may terminate and renegotiate the compact insofar as "a court of competent jurisdiction" is concerned.
FOOTNOTES 1 A copy of the order is attached to this writing.
Cherokee Nation Enterprises, LLC.
Rather, it was intended to preserve preexisting Tribal court jurisdiction over claims arising in Indian country against Indian Tribes.
Some states, including California, were given extensive criminal and civil jurisdiction over tribal lands within the affected states whereas Oklahoma was not given, nor did it assume, equivalent authority to apply or enforce its state civil or criminal laws in Indian country.
Harrah's NC Casino Company, LLC.
The compact between the Tribe and the State granted regulatory, criminal jurisdiction to the State, but it did not expressly grant civil jurisdiction to the State with respect to the parties' dispute.
The court concluded that the exercise of state court jurisdiction in the action would unduly infringe on the self-governance of the tribe.
See also, Bonnette v.
Tunica-Biloxi Indians, 873 So.
This conclusion was reached despite the compact also containing a provision which stated that the State and the Tribe had concurrent jurisdiction to fully "ensure the protection of the public," the Tribe and the State.
A New Mexico case, Gallegos v.
Pueblo of Tesuque, 132 N.
At the time of the alleged tort, there was no valid gaming compact in force.
The Court held that trial courts of New Mexico lacked jurisdiction in the matter absent a valid agreement between the tribe and the state permitting the state court to hear the matter.
A subsequent case, Doe v.
Santa Clara Pueblo, 141 N.
The compact contained specific language concerning tort claims and jurisdiction The Court held both that the compact created a concurrent State-Tribal jurisdiction for personal injury tort claims, by agreement of the parties, and that IGRA permitted such a negotiation and outcome.
The deceased died of a heart attack suffered on tribal land owned in fee by the tribe.
The tribal gaming compact gives the tribe civil jurisdiction for tort matters relating to Class III gaming on their reservation.
The Court spoke to the linchpin of the matter, at p.
Morse Diesel International, 260 Conn.
The Court held that subject matter jurisdiction was lacking in state court and that the proper forum was the Mohegan Gaming Disputes Court.
This result was reached after the Court considered the express language of the compact, the fact that the tribal constitution provided a forum and mechanism to redress the patron's injuries and IGRA permitted such a result.
In Gaming Corporation of America v.
They are a creation of federal law, and IGRA prescribes 'the permissible scope of a Tribal-State compact.
Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma Housing Authority, 1999 F.
The primary goal of statutory interpretation is to ascertain and follow the intent of the Legislature.
Brewington, 1992 OK 31, ¶ 5, ; Ledbetter v.
Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Comm'n, 1988 OK 117, ¶ 7, ; Hess v.
Where a statute's meaning is ambiguous or unclear, we employ rules of statutory construction to give the statute a reasonable construction that will avoid absurd consequences.
Multiple Injury Trust Fund, 2006 OK 78, ¶ 9, ; Head v.
It is important in construing the Legislative intent behind a word to consider the whole act in light of its general purpose and objective, considering relevant portions together to give full force and effect to each.
Alcorn, 2007 OK 90, ¶ 19 fn.
King, supra; Simpson v.
Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Bd.
Corporation Comm'n of Okla.
A statute will be given a construction, if possible, which renders every word operative, rather than one which makes some words idle and meaningless.
Ekberg, 1980 OK 91, ¶ 7, ; Integrity Mut.
Garrett, 1924 OK 721, ¶ 11, 229 P.
Rucker, 1918 OK 29, ¶ 5, 170 P.
We presume that the Legislature expressed its intent and intended what it expressed, and statutes are interpreted to attain that purpose and end, championing the broad public policy purposes underlying them.
ConocoPhillips, Co, 2006 OK 42, ¶12, ; King v.
King, supra; Cox v.
§1911 1978 provides: a Exclusive jurisdiction An Indian tribe shall have jurisdiction exclusive as to any State over any child custody proceeding involving an Indian child casino near broken resides or is domiciled within the reservation of such tribe, except where such jurisdiction is otherwise vested in the State by existing Federal law.
Where an Indian child is a ward of a tribal court, the Indian tribe shall retain exclusive jurisdiction, notwithstanding the residence or domicile of the child.
§2701 provides: The Congress finds that - 1 numerous Indian tribes have become engaged in or have licensed gaming activities on Indian lands as a means of generating tribal governmental revenue; 2 Federal courts have held that section 81 of this title requires Secretarial review of management contracts dealing with Indian gaming, but does hollywood casino baton rouge events provide standards for approval of such contracts; 3 existing Federal law does not provide clear standards or regulations for the conduct of gaming on Indian lands; 4 a principal goal of Federal Indian policy is to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency, and strong choctaw casino - district government; and 5 Indian tribes have the exclusive right to regulate gaming activity on Indian lands if the gaming activity is not specifically prohibited by Federal law and is conducted within a State which does not, as a matter of criminal law and public policy, prohibit such gaming activity.
§2702 provides: The purpose of this chapter is - 1 to provide a statutory basis for the operation of gaming by Indian tribes as a means of promoting tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments; 2 to provide a statutory basis for the regulation of gaming by an Indian tribe adequate to shield it from organized crime and other corrupting influences, to ensure that the Indian tribe is the primary beneficiary of the gaming operation, and to assure that gaming is conducted fairly and honestly by both the operator and players; and 3 to declare that the establishment of independent Federal regulatory authority for gaming on Indian lands, the establishment of Federal standards for gaming on Indian lands, and the establishment of a National Indian Gaming Commission are necessary to meet congressional concerns regarding gaming and to protect such gaming as a means of generating tribal revenue.
§2710 d 3 Please click for source provides: C Any Tribal-State compact negotiated under subparagraph A may include provisions relating to-- i the application of the criminal and civil laws and regulations of the Indian tribe or the State that are directly related to, and necessary for, the licensing and regulation of such activity; ii the allocation of criminal and civil jurisdiction between the State and the Indian tribe necessary for the enforcement of such laws and regulations; 13 Part 15 of the Compact relates to duration and negotiation and it provides in pertinent part:.
This Compact shall have a term which will expire on January 1, 2020, and at that time, if organization licensees or others are authorized to conduct electronic gaming in any form other than pari-mutual wagering on live horse racing pursuant to any governmental action of the state or court order following the effective date of this Compact, the Compact shall automatically renew for successive additional fifteen-year terms; provided that, within one hundred eighty 180 days of the expiration red casino flashing this Compact or any renewal thereof, either the tribe or the state, acting through its Governor, may request to renegotiate the terms of subsections A and E of Part 11 of this Compact.
This Compact shall remain in full force and effect until the sooner of expiration of the term or until the Compact is terminated by mutual consent of the parties.
The state hereby agrees that this subsection is severable from this Compact and shall automatically be severed from this Compact in the event that the United Stated Department of the Interior determines that these provisions exceed the state's authority under IGRA.
¶1 I respectfully dissent.
¶2 The case at hand involves the same jurisdictional issue as the case of Cossey v.
This controversy stems from the fact that the Gaming Compacts between the State and Indian tribes do not specifically state that State courts have jurisdiction over such claims.
The majority opinion in Cossey and the majority opinion herein interpret the tribe's "consent to suit in a court of competent jurisdiction" set forth in the Compacts as conferring jurisdiction on State courts.
In Cossey, I dissented from the majority holding that this language gives State courts jurisdiction over gaming-related tort claims against the Cherokee Nation.
The same analysis and authority set forth in my dissent in Cossey lead me to likewise dissent from the majority holding herein that this language gives State courts jurisdiction over such tort claims against the Choctaw Nation.
¶3 Under the majority interpretations, Oklahoma courts acquire concurrent jurisdiction with tribal courts over gaming-related tort claims against Indian tribes that have a Gaming Compact with the State.
The majority herein reasons that if tribal courts were intended to be the only courts of competent jurisdiction to adjudicate tort claims against the tribes, then the tribes would have expressly limited their consent to suit "in tribal court only.
¶4 My disagreement with the majority on this point stems from the fact that the courts of the State of Oklahoma are not generally courts of competent jurisdiction to adjudicate tort claims against Indian tribes for tribal activity on tribal lands.
The majority opinions in both Cossey and the case at hand acknowledge that the State of Oklahoma did not assume jurisdiction over tribal lands pursuant to Public Law 280.
While state courts can acquire jurisdiction over tribes incidental to a Congressional delegation of power to the State to regulate tribal activity, the Federal Indian Gaming Act does not involve a Congressional delegation of power to the State of Oklahoma.
Finally, when the State of Oklahoma wants a tribe to submit to the jurisdiction of a state court under a compact, the State of Oklahoma has explicitly said so.
¶5 In my opinion, the key to this controversy lies in the sovereign to sovereign status quo that exists between the State of Oklahoma and Indian tribe at the time they enter into any type of compact.
This status quo is best described in the Motor Fuel Compact Act: "Both the State of Oklahoma and the accepting Indian tribe recognize, respect and accept the fact that under applicable laws each is a sovereign with dominion over their respective territories and governments.
¶6 In the Federal Indian Gaming Act, Congress expressly authorized the State and Indian tribes to change their sovereignty status quo with respect to 1 the application of the criminal and civil laws and regulations of the Indian tribe or the State and 2 the allocation of criminal and civil jurisdiction between the State and Indian tribe.
However, the Gaming Compact between the State of Oklahoma and the Choctaw Nation does not expressly provide for the application of the civil laws of the State of Oklahoma to tribal lands nor does it expressly allocate civil jurisdiction to the courts of the State of Oklahoma.
Instead, the Compact plainly states: "This Compact shall not alter tribal, federal or state civil adjudicatory or criminal jurisdiction.
In view of this fact, use of the modifying term "competent jurisdiction" to describe the court in which the tribe consents to suit, clearly refers to courts which have jurisdiction to adjudicate claims against the tribe in the absence of the compact.
In this context, the casino near atlanta ga term "competent jurisdiction" is just as effective to limit jurisdiction to tribal courts as saying "in tribal courts only.
To achieve this end, the State sought and received 1 the tribe's waiver of sovereign immunity and a claims process to pursue tribal liability comparable to that found in Oklahoma's Governmental Tort Claims Act, choctaw casino - district the tribe's consent to suit on disputed claims in a court competent to determine tribal liability, and 3 the tribe's assurance that patrons would be afforded due process in seeking and receiving just and reasonable compensation for a choctaw casino - district claim for personal injury or property damage.
Nowhere in the Compacts at issue, however, did the State and tribes expressly agree that Oklahoma law would apply in this process or that State courts were empowered to determine tribal liability.
Perhaps my chief disagreement with the majority opinions in Cossey and the case at hand lies in the fact that they extend state law and state civil adjudicatory jurisdiction to tribal lands and tribal governments by implication when the parties did not expressly agree to do so in the face of express authority in the Federal Indian Gaming Act on this subject.
¶9 In my opinion, the only provision in the Compact that implicates the exercise of jurisdiction over a tort claim by a court other than a tribal court is the "due process" provision.
In this provision, tribes agree to "ensure that patrons of a facility are afforded due process in seeking and receiving just and reasonable compensation for a tort claim for personal injury and property damage.
This includes exercise of the tribe's judicial power.
If a tribal court did not afford a tort more info due process, or the tribe did not provide a court to determine its liability, such denials of due process would present a federal question to support adjudication of a claim in federal court. choctaw casino - district choctaw casino - district choctaw casino - district choctaw casino - district choctaw casino - district choctaw casino - district

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