Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tribal Court Open To Public

Feather News

Upon opening the Tribal Court hearing in yesterday's case brought by Tribal elder Brokenwing, the defense withdrew its previous motion seeking to close the courtroom.

The temporary sealing of the case file of Brokenwing (Christian name omitted) v. Mohegan Council of Elders, et al, and the motion to close the court resulted in The Day newspaper writing about the controversy.

The Judge also decided to unseal much of the file. The rest of the file, which primarily includes details of a good standing complaint filed by the Tribal Council chairman and secretary and correspendence between the Elders Council and Brokenwing will remain temporarily sealed pending a decision.

The papers that are temporarily sealed were referred to as "pages 7 through 22" of a summons served on the defendants. Throughout the hearing, the parties were given instructions not to refer to the temporarily sealed items except to refer to them by page number. Pages 1 through 6 are the summons papers served on the defendants and the complaint filed by Brokenwing in Tribal Court.

A handful of Tribal members attended the hearing, many dressed in regalia. David Collins, the reporter from The Day newspaper who wrote about the controversy last Sunday, was also in attendance.

Brokenwing is representing himself in the case. The defense is represented by two staff attorneys and an outside attorney from the law firm of Rome McGuigan P.C.

A decision has yet to be made on Brokenwing's request for an injunction that would halt the good standing proceeding against him until constitutional issues on the good standing process are decided in Tribal Court.