Ute Business Committee Issues Press Release on Banished Members’ Challenge
By Kristin Forbis, Jun 24, 2020
The Ute Tribe Business Committee shared a press release on June 22nd reiterating that the Ute Indian Tribe victory continues to stand in the federal court case dismissal of four banished members. The press release states that while the four banished tribal members -- Angelita M. Chegup, Tara J. Amboh, Mary Carol Jenkins, and Lynda M. Kozlowicz -- have appealed to the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, that appeal is still pending and the federal court decision and order in favor of the Ute Indian Tribe remains in place. “We will have to wait to hear what the Tenth Circuit decides about that,” said Luke Duncan, Chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee. “If it wants oral argument, it will give us a date. If it does not believe oral argument would be necessary or helpful, it will issue its decision based upon the briefs. Until then, the federal district court decision in favor of the Ute Indian Tribe stands.” The press release also states that the Business Committee passed a resolution banishing the plaintiffs after their continued disruption of ongoing federal court litigation between the Tribe and the State of Utah to protect the Tribe’s Uintah and Ouray Reservation from diminishment. “The Business Committee believes the court’s dismissal of the case properly recognizes the tribe’s sovereign immunity, and supports the tribe’s position that the banishment of the tribal members was carried out in full recognition of their due process rights and that they are not entitled to have this decision reviewed by the federal courts,” Chairman Duncan said. Chairman Duncan also emphasized that the Ute Indian Tribe has taken appropriate action and carefully followed tribal and federal law at every stage of this process to ensure the actions of the Business Committee were carried out in a lawful, transparent process that afforded due process to the plaintiffs at each and every stage of the banishment proceedings. “Banishment is a strong and traditional measure for justice, and we don’t take it lightly,” he said. “We gave them notice, and we offered them a hearing. They chose to file in federal court instead of tribal court, in violation of tribal law, and had their claims dismissed. This was an internal tribal matter, and throughout, it has been a fair process. The U.S district court properly dismissed the case.” The press release can be found in its entirety on the Ute Business Committee Facebook page.