Michigan v Bay Mills Indian Community

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Tribal Law
  • Date Filed: June 24, 2013
  • Case #: 12-515
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 695 F.3d 406 (6th Cir. 2012)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether Federal Courts have jurisdiction over tribal casinos that are not on tribal land and whether tribal sovereign immunity bars a state from bring a claim against a tribal casino that is not on tribal land.

Respondent, a Native American tribe, opened up a casino off of tribal lands. Petitioner filed suit claiming that the casino violated the Tribal-State compact and asked the District Court for an injunction to stop the operation of the tribal casino.

The District Court granted an injunction which was then appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The court vacated the injunction claiming that the Federal court lacked jurisdiction and dismissed the actions by the state due to tribal immunity.

Petitioner argues that the Supreme Court must resolve the jurisdiction issue in Federal Courts over illegal gaming activity by tribes which occur off of tribal lands. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether Federal Courts have jurisdiction over tribal casinos that are not on tribal land and whether tribal sovereign immunity bars a state from bring a claim against a tribal casino that is not on tribal land.

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