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Southern Ute Indian Tribe of Colorado


An alleged threat made during a tribal council meeting should be handled in tribal court, not La Plata County Court, a county judge ruled Dec. 5. County Judge Martha Minot dismissed a temporary restraining order against John Jurrius, a financial adviser to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Tribal Attorney Samuel Winder sought the restraining order, saying Jurrius threatened him during a Nov. 28 meeting. Winder said he feared for his safety when he applied for the temporary restraining order. But lawyer Tom Shipps, representing Jurrius, blamed the dispute on tribal politics. Winder accused Jurrius of saying to him, "You're going down." Others said the comment was a political, not a physical, threat. Shipps said the dispute between Jurrius and Winder should be resolved in tribal court. He said the incident took place on the reservation, Winder is a tribal member employed by the tribe, and Jurrius is a consultant to the tribe. Winder, though, argued he was right in going to county court because Jurrius lives and works off the reservation. Winder, who lives in Albuquerque, stays with a family on private land inside the reservation. He argued that he, his family and his hosts on the reservation should be protected by the state.