Precedent Case Laws

Child Custody

B. L. M. v. P. L. J., 98 APP 01 (App. Ct. May 27, 1998)

  • Key term: jurisdiction over minors
  • The Court of Appeals considered whether the Court of Central Jurisdiction has jurisdiction over a child custody dispute when the children at issue were not properly within the jurisdiction of the Mille Lacs Band. After examining the Mille Lacs Band statues concerning child custody, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s decision to dismiss.

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe v. D. B., 98 APP 03 (App. Ct. October 16, 1998)

  • Key term: full faith and credit to child support orders, Public Law 280
  • The Court of Appeals found Mille Lacs County has jurisdiction over child support cases involving Defendant, a resident of the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation, who had no contact with Mille Lacs County. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court order and found the District Court correctly granted full faith and credit to the order of Mille Lacs County.
  1. B. v. D. S., 00 APP 04 (App. Ct. September 12, 2001)
  • Key term: child custody determination factors
  • The Court of Appeals held that in child custody disputes, the Mille Lacs Band law and Federal law do not provide proper authority to make a decision. As a result, the Court is to use Minnesota law. According to the Minnesota statute, the District Court must consider all relevant factors in determining the best interests of the child. There are twelve factors that must be considered in any custody determination. The District Court must go through an explicit written analysis concerning all the best interest standards.

Child Support

  1. H. v. J. D., 99 APP 03 (App. Ct. May 1, 2000)
  • Key term: child support
  • The Court of Appeals reviewed the District Court’s denial of Appellant’s petition to attach Appellee’s entire bonus for child support purposes. The Court of Appeals found that the District Court did not err. Appellant was not entitled to Appellee’s entire bonus. Rather, Appellant was entitled to a percentage of Appellee’s bonus, as calculated in accordance with 8 MLBSA §2006.

Full Faith and Credit

Beverly Nayquonabe v. Mille Lacs County, 09 APP 05 (App. Ct. May 5, 2000)

  • Key term: full faith and credit, criminal judgment from foreign jurisdiction, Court Order #33, 24 MLBSA 2009
  • The Court of Appeals considered whether the District Court erred in granting full faith and credit to a judgment arising from a criminal judicial proceeding in a foreign jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals examined the Mille Lacs Band’s full faith and credit statute, 24 MLBSA §2009, and Court Order #33. The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court decision because 24 MLBSA §2009 and Court Order #33 do not authorize granting full faith and credit to a judgment arising from a criminal judicial proceeding in a foreign jurisdiction.

Election Dispute

Diane Gibbs v. Mille Lacs Band Election Board, 02 CV 713 (App. Ct. July 8, 2002)

  • Key term: Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance #8
  • The Court of Appeals considered whether Plaintiff proved by clear and convincing evidence that any irregularities occurred during the general election for the District III Representive position. Also, the Court of Appeals examined whether any irregularities actually affected the outcome of the general election with respect to the District III Representative position. Plaintiff’s request that the results of the general election with respect to the District III Representative position be invalidated was denied. The Court of Appeals denied Plaintiff’s request that a new election be ordered.

David Niib Aubid v. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians, Marvin Bruneau, Melanie Benjamin, Herbert Weyaus, Sandra Blake, and Harry Davis, 03 APP 01 (App. Ct. February 24, 2005).

  • Key term: Revised Constitution and Bylaws of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Election Ordinance #8, due process, equal protection, Indian Civil Rights Act, 5 MLBSA §111(f), sovereign immunity, sovereign immunity waiver, 2 MLBSA §5(a), reservation, sha wa ni ma
  • The Court of Appeals considered the denial of Plaintiff’s candidacy for the position of District II Representative to the Band Assembly. The Court of Appeals held that Plaintiff was entitled to limited equitable relief. Specifically, Plaintiff was entitled to be informed of the reasons for his denial of candidacy, to know if similarly situated persons were certified as candidates for Mille Lacs Band tribal office, and if there is a process for bringing his residence into conformity with the Mille Lacs Band definition of “Reservation” as described in the Election Ordinance.

Melanie Benjamin v. Herb Weyaus, Sandra Blake, Harry Davis, and Marvin Bruneau, Mille Lacs Band Assembly, 08 APP 07 (App. Ct. October 14, 2008).

  • Key terms: Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Revised Constitution, Court Order #8, void order, Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 8(a)(2), separation of powers, due process, contempt, non-justiciable issue, political question doctrine
  • The Chief Justice of the Court of Central Jurisdiction executed an order staying removal proceedings being held by the Band Assembly. The Court of Appeals vacated this stay because it was improvidently granted and was therefore void. The Court of Appeals denied Appellant’s request to hold Appellees in contempt and order a new removal hearing. The Court of Appeals imposed sanctions against Appellees in the amount of $500.00 to be paid within 30 days for the violation of the court order. Also, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court finding that Appellant’s complaint raised non-justiciable issues not subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Central Jurisdiction.

Melanie Benjamin v. Herb Weyaus, Sandra Blake, Harry Davis, and Marvin Bruneau, Mille Lacs Band Assembly, 08 APP 07 (App. Ct. November 24, 2008).

  • Key term: Revised Constitution and Bylaws of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Election Ordinance #8, due process, equal protection, Indian Civil Rights Act, 5 MLBSA §111(f), sovereign immunity, sovereign immunity waiver, 2 MLBSA §5(a), reservation, sha wa ni ma
  • The Court of Appeals denied the request by Appellees to reconsider the fine entered against Appellees for violation of a court order.

Statute of Limitations

Loretta Kalk v. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Corporate Commission, 03 APP 03 (App. Ct. September 16, 2004)

  • Key term: equitable estoppel, due process, 24 MLBSA §2007, equitable estoppel against government entity, statute of limitations, sha wa ni ma

The Court of Appeals considered whether the District Court erred in the dismissal of Plaintiff-Appellant action for failing to file the action in the Court of Central Jurisdiction within the statute of limitations. Specifically, the Court of Appeals examined whether the District Court erred in applying the laws of equitable estoppel, whether irregularities of the proceedings at the District Court denied Plaintiff due process, and whether the District Court decision was against the judicial philosophy and traditional theory of the law of the Mille Lacs Band. Ultimately, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of Plaintiff-Appellant’s action.