The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review an interesting case we've been following, about that big glass viewing platform over the Grand Canyon.
As we noted here, in Grand Canyon Skywalk Development, LLC v. Sa Nyu Wa, Inc., 715 F.3d 1196 (9th Cir. Apr. 26, 2013), the issues mostly involve exhaustion, but there are some eminent domain questions that made the case worth following.
The case involved the Hualapai Tribe's efforts to condemn the rights of the non-Indian developer of the skywalk. A dispute arose between the developer and a corporation chartered by the tribe over a revenue-sharing contract, and while the corporation and the developer were arbitrating their disagreement, the tribe instituted an eminent domain action in tribal court to condemn the developer's contractual rights.
The Ninth Circuit held that the developer would need to exhaust tribal remedies before the federal court could hear its claims, because, in essence, if you voluntarily enter into an agreement with an Indian tribe to undertake a development in Indian Country, you don't have much to complain about when a tribal court exercises jurisdiction, even if you are not Indian. And you can only go to federal court after you've exhausted your tribal court remedies.
Although we found it interesting, the Supreme Court, for whatever reason, did not. Cert denied, leaving the issues to another day and another case. Still, the cert docs are worth reviewing, and as the lines between the jurisdiction of Native American tribes/nations become less clear, we expect issues like these to keep coming up.
More here on the case and the background from Turtle Talk.