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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11624
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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would like to find out about filing a small claims against

Resolved Question:

would like to find out about filing a small claims against a indian tribe and their chairman for money that they withheld from last invoice for work that I did for the tribe from dec-12 thru feb-13 plus late fees.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Dear Karl, My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with Excellent Service, and hope that you will give me an Excellent Service rating, even if the Answer I provide does not support your position. Are you prepared to do that if I give you a correct and honest Answer ?

 

If so, please be kind enough to give me the following information. Please number your answers to correspond with the questions,

 

1. In what State is this and what is the name of the tribe ?

 

2. What did you provide to the tribe ?

 

3. Did you have a written contract ?

 

4. Did the tribe waive sovereign immunity

 

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


1. California , utu utu gwaitu Paiute tribe on Benton reservation 2. security while tribe was going thru some internal problems with members. their lawyer was the person who contacted me to furnish security this job lasted from 12/17/12 thru 2/25/13 multiple invoices were paid. last invoice was paid on 4/25/13 less $1919.78 plus late fees. 3. only a verbal contract over the phone with lawyer.4. not that I know

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Karl, Just a few more questions,

 

 

1. To whom were you sending the previous invoices and who was paying them ?

 

 

2. Was the lawyer a member of the tribe ?

 

Thank you,

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


1. invoices were made out to the tribe and checks were from the tribe. invoices were given to the chairman of tribe only heard from lawyer to start and at end to stop trying to collect in writing.2. not known if lawyer is member of tribe offices in elk grove, ca.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Karl, Thank you for the additional information,

 

Indian tribes are sovereign governmental entities and, as such, the tribes enjoy sovereign immunity and generally cannot be sued in a State Court. An Indian tribe can be sued only if Congress has "unequivocally" authorized the suit or the tribe has "clearly" waived its sovereign immunity, but there is a strong presumption against a waiver of this immunity. The doctrine of sovereign immunity protects the Indian tribes from lawsuits for any monetary amounts by non-Indians in State Courts.

 

However, you might be able to sue the tribe in a Tribal Court. You would tell the Tribal Court what was ordered by their lawyer and that you acted in accordance with his instructions. You will also tell the Tribal Court that they have acknowledged the debt in that they have paid the invoices you have submitted to date, except for $1,919.78 plus late fees. You would have to ask what the procedure is for instituting a lawsuit against that particular tribe and then go ahead and sue in their Tribal Court.

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,

 

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,

 

ANDREA

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

would you be able to take a single indian to small claims without involving the tribe because he took money from me for his personal vechile for damage's that he did to his truck.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
It would appear that you could sue a single Indian because it is the tribe which is the "governmental unit" which enjoys the protection of Sovereign immunity, not the individual members of the tribe,

____________________________________________________________________


Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,

ANDREA
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11624
Experience: 25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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