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November 22, 2021: Seminole Compact Decision – invalidated
Does the immovable-property exception apply to tribal sovereign immunity?
July 22, 2021: Bad Faith Challenges to the State
“Effectively the Tribe was trying to get what it wanted without agreeing to anything the state wanted. That does not constitute a government-to-government negotiation.” State of California 4 Tribes: Bear River, Cachil DeHe, Soboba and Cahuilla
JULY 14, 2021: KIMETRA BRICE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. HAYNES INVESTMENTS, LLC., et al., Defendants. KIMETRA BRICE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. MIKE STINSON, et al., Defendants.
The defendants can't rely on tribal sovereign immunity since the allegations involve their own conduct, not that of any tribal entities, and no tribes are defendants in the suits, Judge Orrick said.
On Monday June 21, 2021 the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari without explanation. The argument being proposed is that the taking of land for tribes violates the Enclaves Clause, by taking land out of the state’s jurisdiction and making it exclusive federal/tribal jurisdiction. In the DOJ answers that question “[w]hen land is taken into trust by the federal government for Indian tribes, the federal government does not obtain such categorically exclusive jurisdiction over the entrusted lands.” Upstate Citizens, 841 F.3d at 571. As this Court has explained, Indian reservation lands do not fall within the Enclave Clause because “the lands remain part of [the state’s] territory and within the operation of her laws,” particularly as applied to non-Indians. Surplus Trading Co. v. Cook, 281 U.S. 647, 650 (1930); see Nevada v. Hicks, 533 U.S. 353, 361 (2001) (“State sovereignty does not end at a reservation’s border.”) Laws that apply: Criminal law, DMV, Acholic Beverage Control, permits for egress/ingress, marriage/divorce,
JUSTICE ALITO, concurring. I join the opinion of the Court on the understanding that it holds no more than the following: On a public right-of[1]way that traverses an Indian reservation and is primarily patrolled by tribal police, a tribal police officer has the au[1]thority to (a) stop a non-Indian motorist if the officer has reasonable suspicion that the motorist may violate or has violated federal or state law, (b) conduct a search to the ex[1]tent necessary to protect himself or others, and (c) if the tribal officer has probable cause, detain the motorist for the period of time reasonably necessary for a non-tribal officer to arrive on the scene.
April 9, 2021: UNITE HERE LOCAL 30, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. SYCUAN BAND OF THE KUMEYAAY NATION
Does the States Tribal Labor Relations Ordinance apply or is it preempted by the National Labor Relations Act under the Ninth Circuit's 2018 Casino Pauma ruling?
April 1, 2021: Klamath Irrigation District v U.S. Bureau of Reclamations, Hoopa Valley and Klamath Tribes
This case concerns an issue of great importance to virtually every state in the Western U.S.: how a water rights holder may enforce its rights against other parties who are appropriating that right unlawfully. The District Court’s holding below establishes that, for a significant number of water rights holders, they simply may not enforce those rights
CASE NO. 1:19-CV-0024 AWI SKO ORDER RE: CROSS MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California, Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Blue Lake Rancheria, Hopland Band of Pomo Indians and Robinson Rancheria sued the state for insisting that they negotiate unrelated topics for their gaming agreements that would expire soon. Their suit is one of many accusing California of bad faith compact negotiations. The Court has ruled in favor of the Tribes.
March 29, 2021: Findleton v Coyote Valley
Court Order in related items. Granting-Findleton's-Motion-to-Augment-the Record-16-Apr-2021
In his official capacity as the Director of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration; THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TAX AND FEE ADMINISTRATION,
December 18, 2020: CLUB ONE CASINO, INC., dba CLUB ONE CASINO, GLCR, INC., dba THE DEUCE LOUNGE AND CASINO v. Secretary of the Interior and others
PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI The questions presented by this petition relate to fundamental questions of State sovereignty over State lands: 1. Does the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. § 5108, by authorizing the Secretary of the Interior “in his discretion” to acquire lands “for the purpose of providing land for Indians,” silently operate, by virtue of a simple transfer of title, to divest States of their inherent and exclusive jurisdiction over such acquired lands and transfer it, without State cession or consent, to a tribe? AND, 2. If the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. § 5108, is read to unilaterally transfer State jurisdiction to the federal government and tribes, did Congress have the power to do so under the Indian Commerce clause, art. I, § 8 of the Constitution, notwithstanding other constitutional provisions limiting federal usurpation of State lands, e.g., art. IV, § 3 (no involuntary reduction or combination of a State’s territory), art. I, § 8, cl. 17 (requiring State consent to federal enclaves), and the Tenth Amendment
December 3, 2020: YOCHA DEHE WINTUN NATION; et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California; STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
“We need not today decide whether exclusivity is a compact term. Even assuming that it is, the remedy the Tribes seek, an injunction requiring the State to enforce its laws against non-Indian cardrooms that allegedly operate illegal banked card games, cannot be granted. Nothing in the compacts purports to impose on the State the obligation to enforce its laws against non-Indian cardrooms, and nothing in the contracts suggests the Tribes may seek that remedy based on an alleged breach of any exclusivity guarantee.”
JUNE 2020: MASHPEE WAMPANOAG TRIBE, v. ) Civil Action No. 18-2242 (PLF) ) DAVID BERNHARDT, in his official ) capacity as Secretary of the Interior, et al., ) ) Defendants, ) ) and ) ) DAVID LITTLEFIELD, et al.,
In late March, the Interior Department informed the tribe it would remove its land from trust status. The tribe asked the federal court to issue an emergency order that would postpone that decision. Friedman heard arguments on that request and on the lawsuit May 20. The Interior Department must take a second look at the tribe’s case using the so-called M-Opinion, Friedman wrote, and evaluate all the evidence in concert rather than in isolation. The M-Opinion sets guidelines the department had been using since 2014 to determine whether a tribe was under federal jurisdiction at the time of the Indian Reorganization Act in 1934 — a qualification for land-in-trust status. In March, the deputy solicitor for Indian Affairs, Daniel H. Jorjani, withdrew the opinion and issued a new four-step procedure for determining tribal eligibility.
May 27, 2020: Stand Up For California v. Secretary of the Interior (Secretarial Procedures)
The case will go back to the district court to decide: (1) whether the issuance of Secretarial Procedures is a “major federal action” subject to NEPA; and (2) whether the EIS and Conformity Determination prepared by the Secretary in connection with his two-part determination suffice for purposes of the Secretarial Procedures.
April 2020: Tribal letters to Secretary of the Interior Upset over Cares Act
Tribal letters to the Secretary of the Interior Great Plains Tribal Chairman Association 4-20-20
February 27, 2020: Littlefield v Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
The Mashpee Wampanoag, was recognized in 2007 by Interior. It tried to get around the “now under federal jurisdiction standard [in 1934]” by relying on a second standard in the definition of “Indian.” But the District Court and the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Tribe’s argument. The District Court ruling affirmed that Interior lacked authority to take the land into trust.
August 26, 2019: Joy Spurr v. Melissa Pope
Tribes can serve orders of protection against non-Indians due to their "inherent" sovereignty. By a unanimous vote, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals - Violence Against Women Act of 2013 authorizes Indian tribal courts to issue and enforce civil protection orders against any person—Indian or non-Indian, tribal member or non- tribal member—in matters arising in the Indian country of an Indian tribe.
Yocha June 18, 2019: Dehe Wintun Nation vs. State of California
The Court rules in favour of the State. The Tribes claim of bad faith is dismissed.
March 18, 2019: Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation vs. State of California
Jan. 4, 2019: Chicken Rancher v. Governor Brown
Bad Faith Challenge
Jan. 3, 2019: Yocha DeHe v. Brown - Complaint
Bad Faith Challenge, breach of tribal state compact exclusivity.
May 21, 2018: Upper Skagit v. Lundgren
The key issue pushes us back to foundational questions about sovereignty and history—involved the “immovable property exception” to sovereign immunity. Under this rule, sovereigns who purchase property within the territory of another sovereign cannot invoke their sovereign immunity to halt proceedings concerning those lands. So, if California buys land in Nevada, or Canada buys land within the United States, neither sovereign enjoys the benefit of sovereign immunity in property actions in Nevada or U.S. courts. On appeal, the Lundgrens’ attorneys argued that the same rule should apply to tribes, too. But the Court decided not to entertain that claim, because the Lundgrens had failed to raise it adequately on appeal, and instead gave the Washington Supreme Court the first crack at assessing whether the exception applies.
May 14, 2018: Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
The precise scope of permissible sports betting options will be established through legislation and regulations in each state.
April 11, 2018: Amador County v. U.S. Dept. of the Interior - CSAC Petition
FEB. 27, 2018: U. S. Supreme Court Ruling - Patchack v. Zinke, Secretary of the Interior
Congress may not exercise the judicial power, see Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm, Inc., 514 U. S. 211, 218, but the legislative power permits Congress to make laws that apply retroactively to pending lawsuits, even when it effectively ensures that one side will win, Bank Markaziv. Peterson, 578 U. S. ___, ___–___. Permissible exercises of the legislative power and impermissible infringements of the judicial power are distinguished by the following rule: Congress violates Article III when it “compel[s] . . . findings or results under old law,” Robertson v. Seattle Audubon Soc., 503 U. S. 429, 438, but not when it “changes the law,” Plaut, supra, at 218. Pp.
Novemeber 27, 2017: Upstate Citizens for Equality, Inc. v United States 583 U.S. _(2017)
Order denying Writ of Certiorari and Justice Clarence Thomas Dissenting Opinion Scroll to pages 13 -16 and read Justice Thomas Dissenting Opinion   “Under our precedents, Congress has thus obtained the power to take any state land and strip the State of almost all sovereign power over it “for the purpose of providing land for Indians.”  This means Congress could reduce a State to near non-existence by taking all land within its borders and declaring it sovereign Indian territory. 
March 7, 2017: 9th Cir Ruling Reserved Agua Caliente Water Rights
AUG. 2017: WATER -- Pacific Legal Foundation CERT ON AQUA CALIENTE
Agua Caliente is making a claim on the ground water and water from the Colorado River BEFORE THE US SUPREME COURT
US Supreme Court - employee not covered by immunity - lewisvclarke.pdf
11-2016 Lewis v. William Clarke
Cert. to the U. S. Supreme Court - Whether the sovereign immunity of an Indian tribe bars individual capacity damages actions against tribal employees for torts committed within the scope of their employment.
Nov. 9 2016: Upstate Citizens for Equality, Ind. v United States of America
Court of Appeals: Ruled in favor of the USA. Citizens argued that the land into trust procedures are unconstitutional, and, in the alternative, that the governments exercise of those procedures on behalf of the tribe exceeded its authority under the Statue.
July 29, 2016: Grand Ronde v. Sec. Jewell
The Court rules that the Cowlitz Tribe was federally recognized AND under federal jurisdiction in 1934
July 28, 2016: David LIttlefield v. U.S. Department of the Interior Sally Jewell
The case arises out of a decision of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior to acquire land in trust for the benefit of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. The court has ruled the Tribe was not under federal jurisdiction in 1934
3-17-2016: Confederate Tribes of the Grande Ronde Community of Oregon and Clark County v Secretary of the Interior and the Cowlitz Tribe
Reply Motion DC Appeals Court Carcieri Challenge
Dec. 7, 2015: Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Transcript of Oral Arguments Tribal Court Jurisdiction over non Indians is argued.
July 20, 2015: Pit River v BLM
In a unanimous decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately consider the views of the Pit River Tribe. The three-judge panel ordered the agency to follow the National Environmental Protection Act and the National Historic Preservation Act before moving forward with leases for the controversial project.
June 4, 2015: Big Lagoon Ruling
The judgment of the district court is Affirmed. Big Lagoon Rancheria's cross appeal is dismissed as moot.
May 22, 2015: Order Denying Santa Ysabel I-Gaming
Santa Ysabel cannot operate Internet Gaming off of Indian Lands
October 17, 2014: State of New Mexico v Secretary of the Interior
New Mexico challenges the Department of the Interior and the Secretary of the Interior's legal authority to implement regulations found in 25 C.F. R. 291 (Secretarial Procedures)
June 12, 2014: Federal Court Enjoins Ho-Chunk Bingo as a Class III Game
Court Rules in favor of the State of Wisconsin Poker is a class III game
May 27, 2014: Michigan v Bay Mills
The deeply divided court relied on the plain language in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in ruling for the tribe. The law does not waive immunity for activities that do not occur "on Indian lands" -- the off-reservation site at issue is located on fee land. "We hold that immunity protects Bay Mills from this legal action," Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the majority. "Congress has not abrogated tribal sovereign immunity from a state’s suit to enjoin gaming off a reservation or other Indian lands."
April 25, 2014: Federal Indictment of Mr. Keslinke
Mr. Keslinke was seeking a license to reopen Kelly's card club in Antioch
July 2013: State of Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community
With the Supreme Court taking this case, Bay Mills will argue that what Michigan and Judge Maloney did violated its sovereign immunity. You would think any tribe placing its sovereign immunity — and that of all tribes — in the tender hands of this conservative Supreme Court should have its head examined. In fact, Bay Mills Tribal Chairman Kurt Perron said the tribe is “deeply concerned” the court could examine the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity. If Bay Mills wants to kick that door open, it does so at great risk.
July 15, 2013: Mashantucket Pequot Tribe v. Town of Ledyard
Court Rules that the Town and the State may tax as personal property tax vendors leasing slot machines to the Mashantucket Pequote Tribe for use at Foxwoods casino.
June 6, 2013: Grande Rohne v. Sec. of the Interior
Off Reservation Challenge
Jan. 18, 2013: USA v. Zepeda - Opinion
The case involved an appeal from a criminal conviction of an Indian under the Major Crimes Act. The conviction was reversed on appeal because although the Government proved that the defendant was a member of a specific Indian Tribe, it did not produce any evidence that that Tribe was federally recognized. A dissenter would have affirmed the conviction by taking judicial notice of the federally recognized status of the Tribe.
Sept. 14, 2012: Ninth Circuit Holds Tribal Workers May Be Sued for Money Damages for Official Actions
In short, our tribal sovereign immunity cases do not question the general rule that individual officers are liable when sued in their individual capacities. We see no reason to give tribal officers broader sovereign immunity protections than state or federal officers given that tribal sovereign immunity is coextensive with other common law immunity principles. See Santa Clara Pueblo, 436 U.S. at 58. We therefore hold that sovereign immunity does not bar the suit against the Viejas Fire paramedics as individuals. The Viejas Band is not the real party in interest. The Maxwells have sued the Viejas Fire paramedics in their individual capacities for money damages. Any damages will come from their own pockets, not the tribal treasury. See Alden, 527 U.S. at 757.
May 18, 2012: Salzar v Patchak --RULING
Citizens have standing, their interests whether economic, environmental or aesthetic, come within the IRA 465's regulatory ambit. Pg 14-18 632 F. 3d 702, affirmed and remanded.
March 27, 2012: Salazar v Patchak - Amicus Brief
Amici curiae are twenty eight California community groups that have a strong interest in the Court's resolution of the questions presented. Amici oppose many fee to trust conversions of land in California. They also oppose the construction and operation of casinos in their hometowns because casinos degrad quality of life and have other negative impacts.
March 5,2012: Ms. George v United States
The case is not specifically an Indian Law case, but it is important for its discussion of the accrual of the statute of limitations under the Quiet Title Act. The context involves the fencing of a road located in a national forest. The Court has ruled that the limitations period expired on woman’s claims 18 years before she purchased the property. It is this last feature of the QTA clock that poses the real problem for Ms. George. A problem because, just as the district court held, Ms. George’s predecessor in interest, Mr. Hamilton, objectively should have known of the government’s claim of right to a fence-free road as early as 1979, about thirty years before she brought suit in 2009. And this means Ms. George has come to court some 18 years too late to do anything about her problem.
Sept. 22, 2011: Neighbors of Casino San Pablo v Secretary of Interior Salazar
Complaint : 7 counts for damages against retaliation and discrimination
June 28, 2011: Howard v Pala
Appeal over tribal membership before the IBIA
Aug. 25, 2011: Writ of Certiorari Salazar v. Patchak
1. Whether 5 U.S.C. § 702 waives the sovereign immunity of the United States from a suit challenging its title to lands that it holds in trust for an Indian tribe. 2. Whether a private individual who alleges injuries resulting from the operation of a gaming facility on Indian trust land has prudential standing to challenge the decision of the Secretary of the Interior to take title to that land in trust, on the ground that the decision was not authorized by the Indian Reorganization Act, ch. 576, 48 Stat. 984.
Aug. 25, 2011: Match E Be Nash She Wish Band of Pottawatomi vs. David Patchak
I. Whether the Quiet Title Act and its reservation of the United States’ sovereign immunity in suits involving “trust or restricted Indian lands” apply to all suits concerning land in which the United States “claims an interest,” 28 U.S.C. § 2409a(a), as the Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits have held, or whether they apply only when the plaintiff claims title to the land, as the D.C. Circuit held. II. Whether prudential standing to sue under federal law can be based on either (i) the plaintiff’s ability to “police” an agency’s compliance with the law, as held by the D.C. Circuit but rejected by the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits, or (ii) interests protected by a different federal statute than the one on which suit is based, as held by the D.C. Circuit but rejected by the Federal Circuit.
August 15, 2011: Blue Lake vs. United States
Blue Lake Rancheria, an Indian tribe, seeks a refund of Federal Unemployment Tax Act taxes paid by Mainstay Business Solutions, an employee leasing company wholly owned by the Tribe. Section 3306(c)(7) of Title 26 of the United States Code excepts from the definition of “employment”— and thus exempts from the payment of employment tax— ”services performed in the employ of an Indian tribe, or any instrumentality” of a tribe. We hold today that this exception does not apply where a tribe is merely a “statutory employer” —in essence, nothing more than a paymaster. The exception granted by § 3306(c)(7) applies only where a tribe is the common-law employer. However, undisputed facts show that Mainstay was, indeed, the common-law employer of the workers at issue here and, therefore, was entitled to the special tax treatment Congress saw fit to grant to Indian tribes.
2011: Tribal Employees protected by tribal immunity (unpublished)
In this case, we determine whether the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity 4 shields Defendant Pueblo of Santa Clara, New Mexico (the Pueblo) and its employee, 5 Defendant Robert Gutierrez, from liability for an off-reservation tort. We hold 6 pursuant to Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma v. Manufacturing Technologies, Inc., 523 U.S. 7 751 (1998), that they are immune from the claims of Plaintiffs Peggy and Timothy 8 Reed and affirm the district court.
March 31, 2011: Colemar v. Jackson Rancheria
Mr. Colemar alledges he was wongfully terminated due to age discrimination.
March 31, 2011: Charles County v. Larry Echo Hawk
This is an administrative challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act. This is the section of the IRA that authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to acquire lands in trust for Tribes.
March 31, 2011: Evans v. Salazar
Federal Court Rules against Snohomish Recognition Effort - This ruling provides judicial guidance in future acknowledgement challenges.
March 29, 2011: Class Action Against Chucky Cheese
This is a demand for a jury trial. Chucky Cheese's family restaurants feature games, rides, prizes, food and entertainment for children. Most of the games require Chuck E. Cheese's tokens which can be purchased for $.25 per token and offer children a chance to win tickets after the game is finished. Unfortunately, many games found at Chucky Cheese are illegal gambling devices that require little or no skill and are predominantly games of chance, much like a roulette wheel. These devices are illegal in California. Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of a class of persons who have played these illegal devices at Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants in California.
March 14, 2011: Piaute Shoshone v City of Los Angeles
Plaintiff Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony, California, an Indian tribe formallyrecognized by the United States, filed this action againstDefendant City of Los Angeles for an order restoring Plaintiffto possession of land that the City took long ago in a deal with the United States. The district court dismissed the actionunder Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(7) because itruled that, under Rule 19 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the United States was a required party that Plaintiffcould not join. The district court certified the appealability of its order under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). Upon Plaintiff’s timelyrequest, we agreed to hear this interlocutory appeal, and we now affirm.
March 11, 2011:Quitquit v. Robinson Rancheria Citizen Business Council (N.D. Cal.):
Petitioners Luwana Quitiquit, Robert Quitiquit, Karen Ramos, Inez Sands, and Reuben Want (Petitioners) are Native Americans currently residing on the tribal lands of the Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians in Nice (Lake County), California. They reside in homes they contracted to purchase through a federally-funded, low-income Indian housing program when they were enrolled members of the Robinson Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians tribe. In late 2008, the officers of the Robinson Rancheria Tribal Business Council (Respondents) passed a Resolution to disenroll Petitioners and extinguish all their rights as tribal members. Subsequently, Respondents established a Tribal Court with jurisdiction to hear only eviction cases brought by Respondents. Respondents retained an attorney to evict Petitioners using the newly-established Tribal Court. These evictions culminated in the issuance of a Judgment by the Tribal Court that, when executed, will effectuate the immediate expulsion of Petitioners from their homes on the reservation and from tribal land under threat of arrest and criminal trespass, effectively banishing them.
Feb. 21, 2011: Confederate Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon v Ken Salazar
CARCIERI CHALLENGE - object to the determination of restored lands for the Cowlitz Tribe
Jan. 31, 2011: Clark County v. United State DOI
CARCIERI CHALLENGE - Appealing Cowlitz fee to trust transfer
2010: Cook v Avi Casino Enterprises
Plaintiff Christopher Cook, a California resident seeks recovery for damages suffered as a result of a motor vehicle accident in which, while on a motorcycle he was hit by a drunk driver. The Driver was an employee of defendant Avi Casino Enterprises, Inc. The Court ruled that the Tribe and employee were covered by tribal immunity to suit. Mr. Cook is paralyzed.
Dec. 27, 2010: Breakthrough Management Group, Inc. v Chuckchansi Gold Casino
This appeal asks us to explore the relationship between an Indian tribe and the economic entities created by the tribe, and to determine how close that relationship must be in order for those entities to share in the tribe's sovereign immunity.
Dec. 2010: CSAC files and Amicus Brief
CSAC weights in on Madison County v Onieda. Does sovereign immunity attached to non restricted fee land?
Nov. 17, 2010: Santa Ynez v. IRS
11. During 2003 and 2004, Santa Ynez made “per capita” payments to its members from revenues derived from gaming activities. Federal law, at 25 U.S.C. § 2710(b)(3)(D), makes such payments subject to federal income taxation and 26 U.S.C. § 3402(r) make such payments subject to federal withholding requirements. 12. During 2003 and 2004, Santa Ynez failed to withhold, or underwithheld, federal taxes on payments made to some tribal members. 13. The IRS later conducted an audit of Santa Ynez for those years and assessed taxes, interest and penalties against the Tribe for 2003 and 2004. Bottom Line: Tribe wants 3.8 million back from IRS
October 18, 2010: CERT: Madision County v. Onieda
The questions presented in this case are: 1. whether tribal sovereign immunity from suit, to the extent it should continue to be recognized, bars taxing authorities from foreclosing to collect lawfully imposed property taxes. 2. whether the ancient Oneida reservation in New York was disestablished or diminished.
October 18, 2010: Nebraska v. Sec. Salazar
Does the Dept. of the Interior or the National Indian Gaming Commission have authority to make a determination for gaming on newly acquired lands?
Sept. 24, 2010: Seneca Telephone Company v Miami Tribe of Oklahoma
"As a matter of federal law, an Indian tribe is subject to suit only when Congress has authorized the suit or the tribe has waived its immunity." However, the court noted although the doctrine of tribal immunity was settled law, it developed with little judicial analysis and under today's conditions extends beyond what is needed to safeguard tribal self-governance. The court stated, "In this[modern] economic context, immunity can harm those who are unaware they are dealing with a tribe, who do not know of tribal immunity, or who have no choice in the matter, as in the case of tort victims." 523 U.S. at 758, 118S.Ct. at 1704. The underlying action in Kiowa was based on contract, and the Court limited its holding to suits on contracts.
Sept. 3, 2010: Rincon v. Schwarzenegger CERT Filing
1. Whether a state demands direct taxation of an Indian tribe in compact negotiations under Section 11 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, when it bargains for a share of tribal gaming revenue for the State’s general fund. 2. Whether the court below exceeded its jurisdiction to determine the State’s good faith in compact negotiations under Section 11 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, when it weighed the relative value of concessions offered by the parties in those negotiations.
August 28, 2010: Question do SLEC's have authority off reservation
Here, Sergeant Tanakeyowma was not enforcing federal or tribal law at the time of the incident. He pursued Sanford outside the boundaries of the Gila River Indian Reservation after he observed Sanford’s erratic driving, which, as explained above, was no more than a violation of Arizona law. There is no evidence that Sergeant Tanakeyowma’s SLEC authorized him to enforce Arizona law, on or off Indian lands, and therefore no indication that he is deemed a federal employee for purposes of the FTCA while enforcing Arizona law. See Hebert, 438 F.3d at 487 (because tribal officers were not enforcing federal law, they were not acting “in accordance with any special commission to assist the Bureau of Indian Affairs with providing law enforcement services”).
We conclude that, under §§ 4.3.1 and, the Compacts authorize 40,201 licenses for distribution through the license draw process. As this number exceeds the limit employed by California and proffered in its crossmotion for summary judgment, we affirm in part the grant of summary judgment to Colusa and the denial of California's cross-motion for summary judgment. We also affirm, as being within the district court's discretion, the order of a license draw open to all eligible Compact Tribes.
August 9, 2010: 2nd Cir Oniedia Indian Nation v. New York Counties
This is a serious dispute over a land settlement of 13,000 ac. of land occupied mostly by a non tribal population.
June 15, 2010: Hydro Resources v. US EPA and Navajo Nation
En banc Tenth Circuit divides 6-5 over what is the proper standard for identifying a dependent Indian community under federal law.
June 7, 2010: 9th Cir. Order - Rincon v Schwarzenegger
The petition for rehearing en banc is therfore DENIED
April 2010: Onieda Indian Nation v Madison County
We conclude that the Onieda Indian Nation is immune from the Counties' foreclosure actions under the principle that "[a]s a matter of federal law, an Indian tribe is subject to suit only where Congress has authorized the suit or the tribe has waived its immunity." it seems very unlikely the Supreme Court will agree to grant a petition for cert in Oneida Indian Nation v. Madison County. To be sure, the question whether tribal sovereign immunity can prevent foreclosure actions against tribally-owned fee lands is certworthy, and there may already be a split in authority of sorts, i.e. (the Second Circuit and the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court in a case involving the Aquinnah Wampanoag a few years back). On the the last page two of the three judges who ruled unanimously in this case basically make a plea for the Supreme Court to revisit two key Indian law cases that protect tribes from lawsuits.
April 20, 2010: Rincon Band of Luseno Mission Indians v. Arnold Schwarzenegger
April 20, 2010 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rules in favor of Rincon. In the State of California's appeal from the district court's holding that the state violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), which provided that a state must negotiate in good faith with its resident Native American tribes to reach compacts concerning casino-style gaming on Native American lands, because the state's repeated insistence that a tribe pay a portion of its net revenues into the state's general fund constituted an attempt by the state to impose a tax on the tribe in violation of 25 U.S.C. section 2710(d)(4).
April 9, 2010: Mr. David Patchak v. Sec. Salazar
A non-Indian man is asking D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate his land-into-trust lawsuit. David Patchak, a former official from Wayland, Michigan, sued the Interior Department over the acquisition of 147 acres in trust for the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe. Among other issues, he claims the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar bars the acquisition. The decision restricts the land-into-trust process to tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" when the Indian Reorganization Act was passed in 1934. The Gun Lake Tribe didn't gain recognition until 1999. In a ruling last August, Judge Richard Leon didn't address that issue. Instead, he determined that Patchak, as a private citizen, lacked standing to challenge the land-into-trust application. Patchak is appealing the dismissal of his lawsuit and has filed his initial brief with the D.C. Circuit. The Department of Justice and the tribe, as intervenor, have filed responses The National Congress of American Indians has filed a friend of the court brief in the tribe's favor.
March 24, 2010: Rincon v Governor Schwarzenegger
Court Orders Plaintiffs Motion for Partial Summary Judgement - more slot machines!
March 5, 2010: Osage Nation v. Constance Irby Secretary, member of the Oklahoma Tax Commission etc.
The Nation sought a declaratory judgment that the nation's reservation, which comprises all of Osage County, Oklahoma has not been disestablished and remains Indian country and thus, tribal members residing there are exempt from state taxation. The pivotal issue in this case is whether the nation's reservation has been disestablished.
Feb. 23, 2010: Order Granting Motion to Intervene
Restoration by stipulated judgment: For the reasons discussed below, the motions to intervene will be granted, the motions to dismiss will be denied, and the motions to vacate the judgment will be held in abeyance.2 Proposed Intervenors’ request to certify the jurisdictional issue for interlocutory appeal will be granted, as will their request to stay further proceedings and execution of the judgment to the extent that the judgment allows for land to be taken into trust by the Secretary of the Interior. The stay will remain in effect pending resolution of the interlocutory appeal or until further order of the Court.
Feb. 8, 2010: POLO AND POSY v Pacific Regional Director BIA
Opening Brief
June 5, 2009:Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley
Complaint for Declaratory and Injuntive Relief - Tribe is seeking federal recognition through a stipulated judgement.
Court Documents Case No. 09-CV-768 Final Decision issued U.S. Western District Court Judge Rudolph T. Randa dismissed the bank’s lawsuit, which was filed against the Lake of the Torches Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Randa found that the trust indenture dated Jan. 1, 2008 was a management contract that was executed without the prior OK of the National Indian Gaming Commission, which rendered the agreement “null and void.” At issue are $50 million in bonds purchased in 2008 by Saybrook Capital of California, which sought to force the tribe into receivership after it defaulted on the bonds.
Dec. 24, 2009: Fort-Independence v. Governor Schwarzenegger
Order to proceed in bad faith challenge.
Dec. 22, 2009: Desenrolled Members vs. Pechanga Tribe
The court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to consider this claim, because Appellants were not detained.
Dec. 9, 2009: Video Gaming Technologies v. Bureau of Gambling Control
Court Order to remove illegal Bingo Machines.
Nov. 2009: North County Community Alliance v. NIGC Cert Petition
The Ninth Circuit held last month that IGRA does not require the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) to determine whether a gaming ordinance contemplates a gaming operation on “Indian lands” prior to (1) approving an ordinance that does not specify a site for the casino or (2) the tribe’s licensure and construction of a casino. In essence, the Ninth Circuit determined that enforcement of the Indian lands requirement of IGRA may only be undertaken by the NIGC and states – not private citizens like the North County Community Alliance (“Alliance”).
Nov. 2009: Wolfchild v. United States Cert Petition
This is not a ruling nevertheless, the questions presented are provocative: 1. After Carcieri, whether federal court subject matter jurisdiction exists over Native American beneficiary claims of purported federal government violations of the 1934 IRA or other applicable federal statutes when post-1934 IRA non-tribal community governments are involved. 2. Whether the Federal Circuit’s holding of “statutory use restrictions” in Congressional Appropriation Acts establishing statutory obligations on the United States, but no “trust,” departs from applicable statutory interpretation and trust principles set forth in United States v. Mitchell, 463 U.S. 206 (1983) and its progeny. 3. Whether the Federal Circuit’s holding that a 1980 Congressional Act terminated a trust impermissibly conflicts with the First Circuit’s decision in Passamaquoddy Tribe v. Morton, 528 F.2d 370 (1st Cir. 1979) in that the Federal Circuit failed to consider the 1934 IRA’s extension of all Native American trusts under 25 U.S.C. § 462 and failed to apply the “clear and unambiguous requirement” for a trust termination act.
Oct. 23, 2009: Chairman Salgado Indictment
August 10, 2009: New York Business Alliance v. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
August 4, 2009: Bressi v. Ford
Police officers for Native American tribes do not have the same authority to stop and question non-Indians traveling on state roads within the reservation as they do tribal members, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The judges said roadblocks set up on state roads are permissible — but only to the extent that the stop is limited to determine if the person is an Indian. Judge William Canby Jr., writing for the unanimous court, said if there are "obvious violations,'' like driving drunk, tribal police officers may detain the person for eventual delivery to state officers.
May 2009: Mesa Grande v. SOI Ken Salazar
Reservation boundary dispute with Santa Yasbela

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