Evans v. Shoshone-Bannock LUPC

The Tribes filed suit in Tribal Court against plaintiff and his builders alleging that they violated the Tribes' land use policies by building a residence on Tribal land. Plaintiff filed suit in federal court against the Tribes seeking a declaration that the tribal court lacked jurisdiction and an injunction barring further tribal court proceedings against him. The Tribes moved to dismiss, arguing that plaintiff was required to exhaust tribal remedies before bringing suit in federal court. The district court granted the Tribes' motion to dismiss and denied plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. Because plaintiff was an owner of non-Indian fee land, the Tribes' efforts to regulate him were "presumptively invalid." The Tribes failed to show that at least one of two limited exceptions described in Montana v. United States applied. Because the Tribes plainly lacked the authority to regulate plaintiff's construction of a single-family house on on-Indian fee land, the district court erred in concluding that exhaustion was required. Therefore, the court reversed the judgment of the district court and remanded for further proceedings. View "Evans v. Shoshone-Bannock LUPC" on Justia Law