December 19th, 2008
The California Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that payday loan companies owned by tribes are protected by tribal sovereign immunity.
Five companies owned by the Miami Nation of Oklahoma and the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska do business over the Internet. The California Department of Corporations tried to enforce various provisions of state law against the firms but the court said they are entitled to immunity.
“Certainly, as Indian tribes operate in an increasingly commercial climate affecting large numbers of consumers, the justification for a broad doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity can be called into question:,” the court said. “In our interdependent and mobile society, however, tribal immunity extends beyond what is needed to safeguard tribal self-governance.”
The same companies won a similar ruling in Colorado.
Loan Companies Owned by Tribes Have Sovereign Immunityâ€”C.A. (The Metropolitan News-Enterprise 12/17)
California Court of Appeals Decision:
Ameriloan v. Super. Ct (December 15, 2008)