Big Image Loans Lands Big Win for Tribal Lenders in Sovereign Immunity Case

Big Image Loans Lands Big Win for Tribal Lenders in Sovereign Immunity Case

An online lender owned and operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe (“Tribe”), and Ascension Technologies, LLC, the Tribe’s management and consultant company successfully established that they are each arms of the Tribe and cloaked with all of the privileges and immunities of the Tribe, including sovereign immunity in a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit, Big Picture Loans, LLC. As back ground, Big Picture Loans and Ascension are two entities formed under Tribal legislation because of the Tribe and both are wholly operated and owned by the Tribe. Big Picture Loans offers consumer financial services products online and Ascension provides marketing and technology services solely to picture that is big.

Plaintiffs, customers that has applied for loans from Big photo Loans, brought a putative course action within the Eastern District of Virginia, arguing that state legislation along with other various claims placed on Big Picture Loans and Ascension. Big Picture Loans and Ascension relocated to dismiss the truth for not enough subject material jurisdiction regarding the foundation they are eligible for sovereign resistance as hands associated with the Tribe. After jurisdictional finding, the U.S. District Court rejected Big Picture Loans and Ascension’s assertions they are hands associated with Tribe and as a consequence resistant from suit.

The Fourth Circuit held that the U.S. District Court erred with its dedication that the entities are not hands associated with Tribe and reversed the district court’s decision with directions to dismiss Big Picture Loans and Ascension through the situation, as well as in doing this, articulated the arm-of-the-tribe test when it comes to Fourth Circuit. […]