Schaghticoke Indian Tribe v. Hatstat
An individual who has resided on Native American Indian reservation property lawfully, since on or before Oct. 1, 1989, may be entitled to the protections of Connecticut General Statutes §47-64(a), if the tribe files a summary-process action to evict the individual. The Schaghticoke Indian Tribe brought a summary-process action against the defendant, to evict the defendant from tribal lands in Kent. The pro se defendant testified that a Schaghticoke Indian named Kilson invited her onto the reservation, to live and to take care of him, more than 30 years ago. The defendant claimed that when Kilson passed away, Kilson's child, David, invited the defendant to remain on the property. The defendant argued that she was entitled to the protections of C.G.S. §47-64(a). The statute provides, "Each tribe shall determine who may live on reservation land, provided each person lawfully residing on a reservation on October 1, 1989, may continue to reside on such reservation." The court credited the defendant's testimony and found that the defendant, who is an American Indian and who is not a member of the Schaghticokes, began to reside on the reservation on or before 1983. No evidence existed that the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe has previously attempted to evict. "In the absence of evidence that the defendant's presence on the Reservation is unlawful," wrote the court, "the defendant is entitled to the protection of §47-64(a)." The court granted judgment to the defendant.