Conn. Court Upholds Exclusive Right of Tribal Council to Hear Lawsuit

April 8, 2002

Connecticut’s Supreme Court upheld the exclusive right of an Indian Tribal Council to hear and determine damage claims arising from accidents occurring on tribal lands.

The case, according to an Associated Press report, involved a lawsuit filed in a state court for damages from a “slip and fall” injury by an employee of the Mohegan Tribe at a gambling casino located on the tribe’s reservation.

Chief Justice William Sullivan wrote that “We conclude that the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the present action because the proper forum for relief is the Mohegan Gaming Disputes Court.”

The Supreme Court directed the trial court to throw out the lawsuit.

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