The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Turner v. McGee on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. Petitioner, “a member of the Kiowa Tribe, was charged by Oklahoma state authorities with instituting or encouraging cockfighting. The state court rejected [Petitioner]’s argument that the crime took place in Indian Country. While state prosecution was ongoing, [Petitioner] requested that the Court of Indian Offenses for the Kiowa Tribe enjoin the state proceeding. That court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. [Petitioner] was subsequently convicted in state court. [Petitioner] then sued the judges of the Court of Indian Offenses in federal district court. The district court denied relief, concluding that the defendants were entitled to sovereign immunity as tribal officials.
On different ground from the district court, the Court concluded that Petitioner “lacks standing because he cannot establish redressability. Given the procedural posture of this case, it is unclear what—if any—action the district court could take to undermine [Petitioner]’s conviction. Because the requested injunction would not redress [Petitioner]’s injury, he lacks standing to pursue his claims.”