Published June 23, 2016
WASHINGTON – With the 4-4 split, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians over Dollar General today. The decision is a huge victory for tribal sovereignty and is significant because the line between federal and tribal court jurisdiction over cases involving non-tribal citizens.
The decision means Dollar General will now face a $2.5 dollar lawsuit over the alleged sexual assault of an American Indian in tribal court.
Today’s court decision stemmed from a 2003 incident involving Dollar General manager, Dale Townsend, who was accused of molesting a 13-year-old Choctaw male citizen who was working at the store Townsend managed.
Dollar General’s defense in the federal court case was tribes do not have “inherent sovereignty” over non-tribal citizens.
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