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Court on Cayuga Nation judgments: Cannot be enforced if they involve fines or penalties

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Appellate Division ruled on July 3 that judgments from the Cayuga Nation Court cannot be enforced in New York if they involve fines or penalties.

The decision came after appeals of conflicting rulings by different New York State Supreme Court judges. The Appellate Division decided that the same rules for domestication of judgments from other states and countries should apply to Indian nation courts. This means fines from Indian nation courts, like those from other states or countries, cannot be domesticated.

Clint Halftown, the federally recognized representative of the Cayuga Nation, welcomed the recognition of the Nation’s court system but was disappointed with the court adding requirements not stated in the rule. The Nation plans to continue pursuing its rights and enforcing judgments under its laws, especially in cases not involving fines.