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Supreme Court tie favors tribal court authority

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Supreme Court tie favors tribal court authority

WASHINGTON (AP) ~ A Supreme Court tie has left in place the authority of Native American courts to judge complaints against people who are not tribal members.

The justices said Thursday they deadlocked 4-4 in a closely watched dispute between the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and Dollar General Corp.

The case threatened to limit the ability of tribal courts to resolve cases in which a member makes claims about a company doing business on tribal land.

The Tennessee-based company was sued in tribal court in 2005 over allegations that a store manager made sexual advances toward a 13-year-old boy placed in his store by a tribal youth employment program. Dollar General asked federal courts to block the lawsuit. The boy’s family is seeking $2.5 million.

Lower courts sided with the tribe.

 

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