Hi, I'd like to assist you with your bankruptcy questions this morning.
Q: Can debts owed to American Indian individuals be included in Federal Bankruptcy proceedings?
A: Most likely yes, debts owed to Indian Tribes should be dischargeable in bankruptcy.
If you're receiving pro rata distributions from Indian Gaming (i.e. a monthly or yearly share of casino revenues), the Tribe may have a lien against your distributions. If you're not receiving any distributions, this shouldn't be a problem, as the Indian debt will not attach to any other assets post-discharge.
Most courts looking at this issue have found that Congress has abrogated the sovereign immunity in § 106(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, as Indian tribes are domestic governments. See, e.g. Krystal Energy Co. v. Navajo Nation, 357 F. 3d 1055 - Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 2004, here: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15177971007597128172&hl=en&as_sdt=40005&sciodt=2,10
Q: My question is...Does Federal Bankruptcy Provisions regarding Chapter 7 allow me to list Indian Tribal Civil Court Decisions for dismissal in Federal Bankruptcy Court?
A: Yes, although you're technically listing these judgments for bankruptcy discharge, not dismissal.
Q: In other words do federal bankruptcy, and criminal courts have jurisdiction over Indian Tribal courts?
A: I think what you intended to ask is whether an Indian Tribal court can collect a judgment from you after it has been discharged in Bankruptcy Court. Most courts would say no, the judgment would be unenforceable against you in Tribal court following your bankruptcy discharge, as Congress abrogated the sovereign immunity of Indian tribes in § 106(a) and 101(27) of the Bankruptcy Code.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).