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Beatrice Miranda v. Vincent Anchando

August 17, 2011

BEATRICE MIRANDA, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
VINCENT ANCHANDO, SUPERVISORY CORRECTIONAL SPECIALIST, BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, OFFICE OF JUSTICE SERVICES, DIVISION OF CORRECTIONS, DISTRICT 3, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT,
KURT BRAATZ, COMMANDER, DETENTION, COCONINO COUNTY DETENTION FACILITY; TRACY NIELSEN, INTERIM CHIEF, PASCUA YAQUI TRIBE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY; CHRIS HARNEY, MAIN OFFICER, TRUXTON CANON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, RESPONDENTS.
BEATRICE MIRANDA, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
TRACY NIELSEN, INTERIM CHIEF, PASCUA YAQUI TRIBE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT, AND KURT BRAATZ, COMMANDER, DETENTION, COCONINO COUNTY DETENTION FACILITY, CHRIS HARNEY, MAIN OFFICER, TRUXTON CANON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY; VINCENT ANCHANDO, SUPERVISORY CORRECTIONAL SPECIALIST, BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, OFFICE OF JUSTICE SERVICES, DIVISION OF CORRECTIONS, DISTRICT 3, RESPONDENTS.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona Paul G. Rosenblatt, Senior District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. and 3:09-cv-08065-PGR D.C. No. 3:09-cv-08065-PGR

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sammartino, District Judge:

FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Argued and Submitted June 16, 2011-San Francisco, California

Before: Mary M. Schroeder and Carlos T. Bea, Circuit Judges, and Janis L. Sammartino, District Judge.*fn1

Opinion by Judge Sammartino

OPINION

In these consolidated appeals, Respondents Vincent Anchando and Tracy Nielsen appeal the district court's order granting Petitioner Beatrice Miranda's amended petition for writ of habeas corpus. The Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court convicted Petitioner of eight criminal violations arising from a single criminal transaction. The tribal court sentenced her to two consecutive one-year terms, two consecutive ninety-day terms, and four lesser concurrent terms, for a total term of 910 days' imprisonment. On habeas review, the district court concluded that the Indian Civil Rights Act, 25 U.S.C. § 1302(7) (2009),*fn2 prohibited the tribal court from imposing consecutive sentences cumulatively exceeding one year for multiple criminal violations arising from a single criminal transaction. Respectfully, we disagree with the district court and hold that § 1302(7) unambiguously permits tribal courts to impose up to a one-year term of imprisonment for each discrete criminal violation. We reverse.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Petitioner is an enrolled member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe (the Tribe). On the evening of January 25, 2008, while drunk-enly wandering the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, Peti- tioner stumbled upon M.V.,*fn3 a minor teenager. Apparently believing that M.V. was laughing at her, Petitioner drew a knife and initiated a profanity-laden chase scene across the reservation.

M.V. ran home and alerted her sister, Bridget, that a woman was chasing her with a knife. Bridget went outside to investigate, where she observed an agitated Petitioner, yelling and brandishing the knife. Petitioner ignored Bridget's pleas to leave; instead, she raised the knife and threatened to throw it at the girls. In a last-ditch effort to protect herself and her sister, M.V. took aim with a basketball and launched it at Petitioner, hitting Petitioner squarely in the face.

Petitioner retreated across the street but continued to shout obscenities and threats. She finally left after Bridget called the police, who quickly apprehended Petitioner near the girls' home.

The Tribe filed a criminal complaint charging Petitioner with eight violations of the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Criminal Code: two counts of endangerment, two counts of threatening and intimidating, two counts of aggravated assault, and two counts of disorderly conduct. Petitioner appeared pro se at trial, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court found her guilty on all eight counts. The tribal court sentenced her to a determinate term of 910 days' imprisonment as follows: (1) two consecutive 365-day terms on the aggravated assault counts; (2) two consecutive ninety-day terms on the threatening and intimidating counts; (3) two concurrent sixty-day terms on the endangerment counts; and (4) two concurrent thirty-day terms on the disorderly conduct counts. The sentence was reduced by 114 days for time served.

Petitioner appealed her conviction and sentence to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Court of Appeals, arguing, inter alia, that her 910-day sentence violated the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA), 25 U.S.C. ยง 1302(7). The tribal appellate court rejected ...


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