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Self-proclaimed court can't enforce rulings


These people are creepy:

The Little Shell Pembina Band of North America, a self-proclaimed tribe of Chippewa Indians, has been warned not to try to enforce its tribal court rulings.

U.S. District Judge Garr M. King in Oregon said the band was more than welcome to hold its own trials and issue judgments. But she said she would hold its officials in contempt if they tried to enforce the rulings.

The Little Shell Pembina Band claims descent from Chippewa Chief Little Shell. However, the group is not affiliated with the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana, whose legitimacy is embraced by other tribes and the state, and whose federal recognition has been given a favorable review by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and by the courts.

The Little Shell Pembina Band has been accused more than once of using its alleged sovereign status to skirt laws. The Anti-Defamation League has labeled the group "extremist." [ADL website].

Get the Story:
Self-proclaimed court can't enforce rulings, federal judge decides (The Oregonian 5/20)

Self-proclaimed court can't enforce rulings, federal judge decides
Friday, May 20, 2005
The Oregonian
A real federal judge on Thursday refused to stop a pretend $2 million lawsuit from going to trial in a mock court system.

But U.S. District Judge Garr M. King put strict limits on the Little Shell Pembina Band of North America, the self-proclaimed Native American tribe that plans to conduct the trial in its "sovereign" court system.

King issued a temporary restraining order against the tribe and threatened to issue contempt of court charges and notify federal prosecutors if group members -- who are not required to be Native American -- try to enforce any verdict its court system produces.

"They may not in any way, shape or form use the judgment to affect any of the assets, income or activities of the plaintiffs," King said.

That restriction addressed a principal concern of Western States Chiropractic College and four school officials, who were notified last month that a disgruntled former student -- and Little Shell Pembina Band member -- had filed suit against them in the group's "tribal" court.

Even though any judgment of the Little Shell Pembina Band court is legally meaningless, Western States officials claimed the former student would attempt to use it to place liens on the property and seize the assets of school officials.

Their concern was based "on anecdotal evidence of similar prior conduct of the Little Shell Pembina Band of North America, including the entry of a bogus judgment by the purported tribal court against a judge in Pennsylvania for $3 million, which was used to create a lien against his home," according to court papers.

The "tribal court" trial against Western States is scheduled to begin today in a Seattle church at 11 a.m. "SHARP," according to a "notice of trial."

School officials and their attorneys said they had no intention of attending.

Messages left Thursday with the tribal court judge, Navin C. Naidu, were not returned.

But, addressing the court by telephone on Thursday, Naidu said that before he could make any decisions, "I need to confer with the chief and the tribal council."

If the trial does commence, it will consider the claims of Vincent Blincoe, a former Western States student who accuses school officials of "arbitrary policy enforcement" and "prejudicial treatment and humiliation" that resulted in his "termination" as a student in 2002.

His request for $2 million includes reimbursement for tuition and lost income and $1 million for the "December 2004 Tsunami Relief Fund."

Blincoe could not be reached for comment.

The Anti-Defamation League claims on its Web site that the Little Shell Pembina Band is an "anti-government extremist group" that traces its authority from a real Native American tribe. Its members engage in a range of illegal activities, from driving with bogus license plates to perpetrating insurance fraud and tax evasion, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Request for ruling

Western States responded to Blincoe's suit by filing its own lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in Portland. The school's suit asks the court to declare that the Little Shell Pembina Band is not a sovereign Native American tribe and its court system is illegitimate.

The suit points out that the group based its constitution on the King James version of the Bible and that members need not be Native American, just willing to provide some personal information and from $500 to $5,000.

Little Shell Pembina Band officials responded to the lawsuit -- "purely as a courtesy gesture from one sovereign to another" -- by defending its legitimacy and attacking the Anti-Defamation League as having a "beleaguered past," including engaging in "terrorist-like operations."

King did not rule on the legitimacy of the Little Shell Pembina Band on Thursday, although he said he was "very doubtful" of its claims.

King also tentatively scheduled a hearing for June 2 to decide whether to extend his restrictions on the group, but Naidu said he was not sure Little Shell Pembina Band officials would be able to attend because of "security concerns."

Naidu referred to the group's claim of 62 million acres of land, including most of North Dakota.

"We've been under constant threat," he said. "People don't like our land claim."

Ashbel "Tony" Green: 503-221-8202;

©2005 The Oregonian
© 2005 All Rights Reserved.

Relevant Links:
Little Shell Pembina Band -

Oh, and check this out.:

Oh, and this:

Membership fees, effective immediately, shall be: a) $500 for those earning $1,000 to $5,000 per month;
b) $1,500 for those earning a monthly salary of $5,001 to $10,000;
c)$5,000 for those earning $ 10,001 or more per month


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