JurisdictionUnited States
Publication year2021

§ 4.07 Jurisdiction over Foreign Hotels and Resorts

Creditors, injured guests and casino patrons face a challenge in asserting federal or state court jurisdiction over Native American tribes that own and/or operate casinos and resorts on reservations.646

§ 4.08 Forum Non Conveniens

When United States citizens are injured while traveling abroad, the usual practice is to institute litigation, not in the foreign country where the injury occurred, but within a forum in the U.S. convenient to the injured traveler. However, the defendants may seek to change the forum selected by plaintiffs to one more convenient to it.647


[646] See, e.g.:

Eleventh Circuit: Hardy v. IGT, Inc., 2011 WL 3583745 (M.D. Ala. 2011) (plaintiff and "a purported class collectively bet and lost over $5,000,000 playing electronic bingo at three casinos owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians ('the Tribe')." [The class sues manufacturers of] electronic bingo machines at the Tribe's casinos [alleging] that electronic bingo as played within the Tribe's casinos constitutes illegal gambling under Alabama and federal law. . . ."; Tribe indispensable but has sovereign immunity; motions to dismiss granted).

Seventh Circuit: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Sokaogan Chippewa Community, 2011 WL 1457125 (E.D. Wis. 2011) (trustee of holders of over $19 million in bonds seeks recovery from Sokaogan Chippewa Community (Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians) and the Sokaogon Gaming Enterprise Corporation "a wholly owned tribal entity that guaranteed the transaction"; tribe waived sovereign immunity in transaction documents; motion to dismiss denied).

State Law:

New Mexico: Bowen v. Mescalero Apache Tribe, 2011 WL 704468 (N.M. App. 2011) (employee card dealer follows patron home after he wins $11,000 and "viciously beat [him] and stole his gaming winnings"); no jurisdiction over Indian tribe; no duty to protect patron from criminal acts of employee which were not...

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