WASHINGTON, DC (October 7, 2014) – A legal analysis released today by attorneys for two Native American tribes reinforced the substantial positive aspects of a recent opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which reaffirmed the tribal sovereign rights that must be weighed in assessing the propriety of the State of New York’s efforts to shut down Indian-owned businesses.
Barry Brandon, Executive Director of the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA), provided the following comment on the memorandum:
“The opinion is an important and positive outcome for the Tribes who are parties to the suit, as well as to Native Americans everywhere. While some have focused only on the narrow element of the preliminary injunction, this memo explains point-by-point the critical elements of law that the Court of Appeals outlined in favor of Native American sovereignty.
These findings by the court will be critical to the progression of the case moving forward, and to future cases involving questions of Native Americans’ sovereign rights.”
The lawsuit was first filed on August 21, 2013 on behalf of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, a federally-recognized Indian Tribe; Great Plains Lending, LLC, a wholly-owned tribal limited liability company; American Web Loan, Inc., a wholly-owned tribal corporation; Otoe-Missouria Consumer Finance Services Regulatory Commission, a tribal regulatory agency; Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally-recognized Indian Tribe; Red Rock Tribal Lending, LLC, a wholly-owned tribal limited liability company; and the Lac Vieux Desert Tribal Financial Services Regulatory Authority, a tribal regulatory agency. Both tribes involved are members of NAFSA. Following a denial of Plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the appeal was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on October 4, 2013.
The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products. Through the protection of consumer rights and sovereign immunity, NAFSA provides vital services to tribally operated lenders serving the under-banked with better short term financial services, furthering economic development opportunities in Indian Country.