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Second Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Order On Case Of Madison County v. Oneida Indian Nation

Oneida Indian Nation Representative and CEO Ray Halbritter
Jeanette Lenoir, WIBX

Madison County, NY (WIBX) – Another ruling in the case of Madison and Oneida Counties v. The Oneida Indian Nation of New York was issued yesterday.

After the U.S. Supreme Court send the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit earlier this week, the lower court issued its first order and Madison County Attorney, S. John Campanie said, “Just last night I received the first order from the Second Circuit where that Court has now asked the parties to communicate with it by January 26th as to where they believe the case is, and including in the request of communication, address whether the sovereign immunity issue is now moot. So, apparently that will be the first step and we will be working on that in the immediate near term.”

Campanie said having the Supreme Court rule unequivocally after the February 2010 hearing would have been beneficial to Madison and Oneida Counties however he said, “But you can start by looking at the Supreme Courts order, which awarded cost to the petitioner–that’s us–costs are awarded to the victors.”

On Monday, Mark Emery, Director of Media Relations for the Oneidas issued a statement applauding the Supreme Court ruling and claiming a victory for the Nation. He said in a statement to the media, “While the Oneida Indian Nation would prefer to reach resolution through a negotiated settlement, in the absence of that we are pleased with the latest development.”

On Tuesday, Emery issued another statement saying, “It is no wonder Madison County is in such bad shape — they don’t know even when they’ve won or lost. Perhaps Madison County should start telling the truth to its residents — it strenuously argued in two separate filings against precisely this outcome, and now it is claiming to have wanted it all along, probably in an effort to justify the considerable legal fees it has wasted in these foreclosure cases. The people of Madison County deserve better leadership than that.”

Campanie said, “Where they [Oneidas] are in this case it would appear to me is, in a situation where at best for the Oneidas–their sovereign immunity is no longer in place as a defense to these foreclosure actions. So, by their own admission they’re saying they can not raise that as a defense and that was the key issue before the Supreme Court.”

After the January 26th deadline Campagnie said the Court will look at the validity of the sovereign immunity waiver and then move to progress the case. He said a Supreme Court ruling on sovereign immunity would affect Indian Tribes throughout the country.

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