BOISE - On March 31, U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a favorable decision for over 100 Shoshone-Bannock tribal landowners in the case Northwest Pipeline v. 95.02 Acres of Land said Tribal Attorney Jeanette Wolfley.
...Wolfley, an attorney for tribal members, filed a motion to dismiss the case and oral arguments were last August.
Wolfley's motion argued that the federal court was without jurisdiction to condemn any lands that may have a tribal interest and the Tribes should have been named a party in the lawsuit.However because of sovereign immunity, the Tribes cannot be sued.Wolfley
said without the Tribes as a party, the case couldn't proceed.
On July 17, 2002, Wolfley
filed the motion to dismiss on behalf of additional tribal member landowners.She
said Judge Winmill didn't grant the motion to dismiss because of federal rule but reserved all the defenses of sovereign immunity, failure to exhaust tribal court remedies and indispensable party (the Tribes.) Wolfley
said the court said, "These important issues must be decided before trial," that will likely end in the case being dismissed.She
said the court also indicated that if the United States opposed the condemnation action, the case could not proceed.