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SUteTribe wins 1st of 2 lawsuits
6/1/2007 By: courtesy KSUT
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has won the first of two lawsuits it filed over last year’s failed motorcycle rally. At the same time, the tribe suffered a setback in a second lawsuit.
The tribe sued Rally in the Rockies and organizer Dan Bradshaw in Tribal Court in Ignacio. The suit charged Bradshaw broke a contract with the tribe when he announced last year he’d move the Rally from Ignacio to Echo Basin. Bradshaw claimed the tribe breached the contract first by refusing to work with him.
After two days of testimony earlier this month, Tribal Court Judge Suzanne Carlson ruled Wednesday that Bradshaw did break the contract. She ordered him to pay the tribe $110,000 in rent, plus other costs.
The ruling came one day after a judge in Montezuma County dismissed three defamation charges the tribe filed as part of a state suit against Bradshaw, Echo Basin and others. District Judge Sharon Hansen cited a trial rule prohibiting defamation claims by a government, in this case, the tribe.
Tribal attorney Sam Maynes says Tribal Council will have to decide whether to appeal.
A trial on the balance of the case, against Echo Basin and its owners, is set for mid-August.
Bill Zimsky, the attorney for the Rally, says no decision has been made on whether to appeal the decision made in Tribal Court.