Tribe Immune From Counterclaims In $90M Tax Row: 9th Circ.

By Dave Simpson (August 29, 2017, 6:44 PM EDT) -- A Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday tossed counterclaims against the Quinault Indian Nation brought by the estate of a deceased tribal member in response to the tribe's now-dismissed $90 million lawsuit over unpaid cigarette taxes, ruling that the counterclaims are barred by the tribe's sovereign immunity.

In a unanimous, published decision penned by U.S. Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown, the panel said that the tribe did not waive its sovereign immunity simply by initiating the lawsuit in the first place.

"The district court properly dismissed the estate's counterclaims, and they cannot act as life support for a lawsuit that the Nation is...

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