State of Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, No. 22779.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtMADDEN
Citation413 F.2d 683
PartiesSTATE OF ARIZONA ex rel. Edgar MERRILL, Sheriff of Apache County, Appellant, v. Wayne TURTLE, Appellee.
Decision Date26 June 1969
Docket NumberNo. 22779.

413 F.2d 683 (1969)

STATE OF ARIZONA ex rel. Edgar MERRILL, Sheriff of Apache County, Appellant,
v.
Wayne TURTLE, Appellee.

No. 22779.

United States Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit.

June 26, 1969.


Norval C. Jesperson (argued), Asst. Atty.Gen., Darrell F. Smith, Atty.Gen., Phoenix, Ariz., for appellant.

Vard R. Johnson (argued), Theodore R. Mitchell, Window Rock, Ariz., of Dinebeiina Nahiilna Be Agaditahe (DNA), for appellee.

Before MADDEN,* Judge of the United States Court of Claims, and MERRILL and BROWNING, Circuit Judges.

MADDEN, Judge:

Appellee, a Cheyenne Indian who resides with his Navajo Indian wife on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, is sought by the State of Oklahoma for trial on a charge of second degree forgery. Oklahoma apparently first applied to the Navajo Tribal Council for appellee's extradition. Appellee was thereafter brought before the Navajo Tribal Court, but following a hearing, that court ordered him released, apparently on the ground that Navajo tribal law provided for extradition only to the

413 F.2d 684
three neighboring states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah

After the Navajo Tribal Court declined to extradite appellee to Oklahoma, Oklahoma made demand upon the Governor of Arizona to secure appellee for extradition, and the Governor issued his warrant of extradition pursuant to Arizona law. The sheriff of Apache County, Arizona, thereupon executed the Arizona Governor's warrant by arresting appellee on the Navajo Reservation and confining him at the tribal jail facility to await removal to Oklahoma. Before Oklahoma authorities arrived to take custody of him, appellee sought a writ of habeas corpus from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, on the ground that the State of Arizona had no authority to arrest him on the Navajo Reservation.

The District Court after hearing ordered issuance of the writ on the grounds that the Arizona authorities had exceeded their jurisdiction in arresting appellee on the Navajo Reservation. The District Court made no formal findings and wrote no opinion. The State of Arizona urges here, as it did in the District Court, that Article IV, Section 2 of the United States Constitution requires that the state retain extradition jurisdiction over Indian residents of the Navajo Reservation.1 We affirm the decision of the District Court.

The relationship between the Navajo Tribe, the United States and the State of Arizona has previously been considered by the Supreme Court in Williams v. Lee, 358 U.S. 217, 79 S.Ct. 269, 3 L. Ed.2d 251 (1959) and by this court in Littell v. Nakai, 344 F.2d 486 (9th Cir. 1965). The history reviewed by the courts in these cases discloses that historically the Indian tribes were regarded as distinct political communities, protected by treaty from the laws of any state and subject only to the plenary power of Congress over Indian affairs. See Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. 515, 6 Pet. 515, 8 L.Ed. 483 (1832); Ex parte Crow Dog, 109 U.S. 556, 3 S.Ct. 396, 27 L.Ed. 1030 (1883); United States v. Kagama, 118 U.S. 375, 6 S.Ct. 1109, 30 L. Ed. 228 (1886). Over the years this original concept of tribal sovereignty has been modified to permit application of state law to reservation Indians in matters not considered essential to tribal self-government, but the basic principle that the Indian tribes retain exclusive jurisdiction over essential matters of reservation government, in the absence of specific Congressional limitation, has remained. "Essentially, absent governing Act of Congress, the question has always been whether the state action infringed on the right of reservation Indians to make their own laws and be ruled by them." Williams v. Lee, supra at 220 of 358 U.S., at 271 of 79 S.Ct.

In Williams v. Lee, the Supreme Court considered the question whether the Arizona state courts had authority to entertain civil suits against Indian residents of the Navajo Reservation arising out of commercial transactions on the Reservation. In holding that Arizona courts did not have such authority, the Supreme Court emphasized the broad independence retained by the Navajo Tribe since its formal recognition by the United States in the Treaty of 1868, 15 Stat. 667 (1868). In characterizing the nature of the tribal sovereignty recognized by this treaty, the court said at pp. 221-222, 79...

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37 practice notes
  • Means v. Navajo Nation, No. 01-17489.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 13, 2005
    ...1338-40 (1970). 83. See Babbitt Ford, Inc. v. Navajo Indian Tribe, 710 F.2d 587, 595-98 (9th Cir.1983); Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, 413 F.2d 683, 685-86 (9th Cir.1969); see also Williams v. Lee, 358 U.S. 217, 221-22, 79 S.Ct. 269, 3 L.Ed.2d 251...
  • Means v. Navajo Nation, No. 01-17489.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 23, 2005
    ...(Ct.Cl.1970). 75. See Babbitt Ford, Inc. v. Navajo Indian Tribe, 710 F.2d 587, 595-98 (9th Cir.1983); Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, 413 F.2d 683, 685-86 (9th Cir.1969); see also Williams v. Lee, 358 U.S. 217, 221-22, 79 S.Ct. 269, 3 L.Ed.2d 251...
  • Oliphant v. Schlie, No. 74-2154
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 24, 1976
    ...United States, but to deliver them up to the authorities for trial." 12 Stat. 929. See Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, 9 Cir., 1969, 413 F.2d 683, cert. denied, 1970, 396 U.S. 1003, 90 S.Ct. 551, 24 L.Ed.2d The second and last treaty or agreement between the Suquamish and the United Stat......
  • Duro v. Reina, No. 85-1718
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 29, 1988
    ...441 F.2d 1199, 1200 n. 1 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 842, 92 S.Ct. 137, 30 L.Ed.2d 77 (1971); Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, 413 F.2d 683, 686 (9th Cir.1969), cert. denied, 396 U.S. 1003, 90 S.Ct. 551, 24 L.Ed.2d 494 (1970)). One commentator has implied that non-Indians and nonme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
37 cases
  • Means v. Navajo Nation, No. 01-17489.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 13, 2005
    ...1338-40 (1970). 83. See Babbitt Ford, Inc. v. Navajo Indian Tribe, 710 F.2d 587, 595-98 (9th Cir.1983); Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, 413 F.2d 683, 685-86 (9th Cir.1969); see also Williams v. Lee, 358 U.S. 217, 221-22, 79 S.Ct. 269, 3 L.Ed.2d 251...
  • Means v. Navajo Nation, No. 01-17489.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 23, 2005
    ...(Ct.Cl.1970). 75. See Babbitt Ford, Inc. v. Navajo Indian Tribe, 710 F.2d 587, 595-98 (9th Cir.1983); Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, 413 F.2d 683, 685-86 (9th Cir.1969); see also Williams v. Lee, 358 U.S. 217, 221-22, 79 S.Ct. 269, 3 L.Ed.2d 251...
  • Oliphant v. Schlie, No. 74-2154
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 24, 1976
    ...United States, but to deliver them up to the authorities for trial." 12 Stat. 929. See Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, 9 Cir., 1969, 413 F.2d 683, cert. denied, 1970, 396 U.S. 1003, 90 S.Ct. 551, 24 L.Ed.2d The second and last treaty or agreement between the Suquamish and the United Stat......
  • Duro v. Reina, No. 85-1718
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 29, 1988
    ...441 F.2d 1199, 1200 n. 1 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 842, 92 S.Ct. 137, 30 L.Ed.2d 77 (1971); Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, 413 F.2d 683, 686 (9th Cir.1969), cert. denied, 396 U.S. 1003, 90 S.Ct. 551, 24 L.Ed.2d 494 (1970)). One commentator has implied that non-Indians and nonme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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