Beware Litigating Against Tribal Entities In Federal Court

By Richard Duncan, Josh Peterson and Sarah Vandelist (October 12, 2018, 3:28 PM EDT) -- Two United States district courts recently dismissed commercial cases involving federally recognized Indian tribes and their business entities for lack of federal jurisdiction. In Shingobee Builders v. North Segment Alliance, the court held that a tribal business entity is not a citizen of any state and therefore the court did not possess diversity jurisdiction. In Clark v. Harrah's N.C. Casino Co,[2] the court granted defendant's motion to dismiss a Fair Labor Standards Act claim and held the tribal enterprise was a necessary party that could not be joined because of tribal sovereign immunity.

Both cases were dismissed for lack of federal...

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