New spirit of cooperation between South Dakota tribal and state courts

Pierre, South Dakota (AP) 11-07

The chief judge of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has agreed that the tribal court should recognize decisions made in other tribal courts and state courts.

In turn, that means state courts in South Dakota are now authorized to recognize the orders or judgments of the Standing Rock court.

“It is my belief that the preservation and expansion of the sovereignty of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation depends upon the respect of our fellow sovereigns as well,” said Standing Rock Chief Judge William Zuger. “I am pleased that this will result in the recognition of our judgments in the courts of South Dakota.”

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota border. Fort Yates, N.D., is the site of the tribal court.

State law allows South Dakota courts to honor decisions in tribal courts when the tribes grant legal reciprocity to orders and judgments of state courts.

The two-way judicial street is effective immediately, said South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson.

“It is my hope that this rule granting mutual recognition of court orders will aid in providing justice to all citizens of South Dakota,” he said.