| 03.18.2018

Navajo Nation promotes discussion


The Navajo Nation will hear appeals in Neptune Leasing, Inc. v. Mountain States Petroleum Corporation and Nacogdoches Oil and Gas, Inc. Thursday in the University of Idaho Law School Courtroom as per request of former Chief Justice Robert Yazzie who prefers having the Navajo Nation Supreme Court sit in law schools to demonstrate and discuss the tribal justice system.After the 9:30 a.m. trial, a discussion will take place about the principles guide them as a court, including oral arguments.
The case is a breach of contract case, according to a summary written by UI Law professor Angelique Eaglewoman. The appellant, Neptune, alleged that they sold a helium plant to Mountain States Petroleum, but kept some ownership of the plant as collateral. Mountain States Petroleum then allegedly sold the plant to Nacogdoches Oil and Gas without Neptune’s permission.
The case was dismissed by the Shiprock District Court, which stated they did not have jurisdiction over Mountain States Petroleum, and the case should proceed in the Texas State Courts, where the contract was filed. Neptune is appealing that decision. In their notice of appeal submitted to the Supreme Court they argue that the Navajo Nation does have jurisdiction because property on their land would be repossessed.
In their opening brief, Nacogdoches Oil and Gas argues that the decision should be affirmed because the disagreement is between Neptune and Mountain States and the rules concerning property repossession were not met.
The court, made up of Chief Justice Herb Yazzie and Associate Justices Eleanor Shirley and William Platero, will hear the case. Their discussion on the operations and principles that guide the Navajo Nation Supreme Court will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Andrew Deskins can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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