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Unpublished Paper
ENFORCING TRIBAL AND STATE COURT CIVIL JUDGMENTS IN CALIFORNIA
(2013)
  • Jeremy Freedman, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Abstract

The purpose of this Note is to bring to light the growing need for a reciprocal approach to cross-jurisdictional enforcement of civil money judgments between California State and Indian tribal courts. In analyzing the issues with enforcement of civil judgments, this Note provides a practical solution that balances comity, sovereign immunity and the need to develop reciprocal solutions to problems created by two societies closely tied to each other. In order to resolve the growing issues affecting state and tribal courts, it is necessary to require reciprocity for enforcement of civil judgments.

Public Law 280 and principles of comity create distinct problems with enforcement of civil judgments between state and tribal courts. Judicial inefficiencies develop as a result of concurrent jurisdiction, which permits parties to a suit manipulate the judicial process though forum shopping and filing the same matter in state and tribal court. Economic development is inhibited through increased transactional costs and uncertainty associated with claims of tribal sovereign immunity. Lastly, judicial relationships diminish with perceptions of inequality and a lack of willingness to cooperate when civil judgments are not enforced. Reciprocity solves these issues by institutionalizing a reciprocal approach to cross-jurisdictional enforcement of civil judgments. First, reciprocity reduces judicial inefficiencies by alleviating the need to re-litigate the same matter in either court by providing a reliable method of enforcement. Second, economic development is bolstered by reducing the cost of negotiating waivers of tribal sovereign immunity. Additionally, it provides greater certainty for businesses entering contracts with Indian tribes. Lastly, institutionalizing reciprocity creates a perception of fair and equitable treatment that will further judicial cooperation and increase enforcement of civil judgments in both state and tribal courts. Therefore, reciprocity is necessary to develop stronger relationships, increase economic development and reduce judicial inefficiencies with Indian tribes.

Keywords
  • Native American,
  • civl,
  • judgment,
  • reciprocity,
  • comity,
  • full faith and credit
Publication Date
Fall September 1, 2013
Citation Information
Jeremy Freedman. "ENFORCING TRIBAL AND STATE COURT CIVIL JUDGMENTS IN CALIFORNIA" (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeremy_freedman/1/