Advising - and Suing - Tribal Officials: On the Scope of Tribal Official Immunity
55 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2009 Last revised: 8 Mar 2009
Date Written: February 20, 2009
This research paper, prepared for the 2009 Federal Bar Association Annual Indian Law Conference, offers a comprehensive overview of the law of tribal official immunity in federal courts. Federal courts apply the Ex parte Young doctrine to tribal officials. Tribal officials tend to be immune from suit in federal court unless a plaintiff alleges a violation of federal law and there is an independent federal court cause of action. Tribal officials are immune if the plaintiff alleges a violation of tribal law, or otherwise merely seek to reach the tribal coffers.
Keywords: tribal official immunity, Ex parte Young, official immunity
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