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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
July 21, 2011: MORONGO EMPLOYEE SUIT
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.
April 15,2011: U. S. Indictments on Internet Poker Operators
Charges of Money laundering, violation of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Act, fraud and more. This is a multi billion dollar indictment.
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”).
August 20, 2010: CACHIL DEHE BAND OF WINTUN INDIANS OF COLUSA INDIAN COMMUNITY v Schwarzenegger
We conclude that, under §§ 4.3.1 and 4.3.2.2(a)(1), 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.
Wells Fargo v LAKE OF THE TORCHES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
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
Land
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
May 2009: James B. Hicks v Tiltware, LLC
Fulltilt Poker (defendants) operates an internet gambling website across state lines, by which the defendants solicit consumers to play poker for money on the www.fulltilt.com websit. Internet gambling is unlawful within California, including without limitation through the www.fulltilt.com website.
April 2009: Bill T. Sweet v Maryanne Hinzman
In a legal first, tribal members have been victorious in Federal court challenging a tribal banishment action. On April 30, 2009, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington granted the Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by nine Snoqualmie Tribal members challenging a banishment imposed by the government of the Snoqualmie Tribe in May last year. The Court held that the Tribe's government violated the Petitioners' due process rights under the Indian Civil Rights Act and vacated the full banishment. As a result, the Petitioners' membership in the Tribe, as well as their benefits, are restored. The Court also imposed a time restriction on a pre-existing social banishment that prevented the Petitioners from coming onto tribal land and attending tribal events. The Court reduced the open-ended social banishment to 90 days, further vindicating and protecting the tribal members' Indian civil rights. The decision comes after the first trial held in Federal court under the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act seeking relief from a tribal banishment action. This is the first Federal court decision to overturn a banishment after trial upon a finding of a denial of due process. Tribal banishments and disenrollments have been increasing in frequency in recent years. The decision could have profound effects on the way tribal governments treat their tribal members, hopefully leading to greater respect for Indian civil rights.
April 2009: UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. NAVAJO NATION
Opinion of the Court ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT [April 6, 2009]
Feb. 2009: Carcieri v. Salazar
Tribes not under federal jurisdiction in 1934 cannot follow the land into trust process of the Indian Reorganization Act.
June 2008: Plains Commerce Bank v Long Family Land and Cattle Co.
Tribal court lacks jurisdiction against non Indians on Indian fee lands.
April 2008: Michigan Gambling Opposition v SOI Kempthorne
Decided April 29, 2008, US District Court - District of Columbia. Of interest in this case is the dissenting opinion of Judge Brown. Beginning at page 18 - BROWN, Circuit Judge, dissenting in part: "I join Parts I and II of the court’s opinion, but I cannot agree § 5 of the IRA is constitutional. Consequently, I dissent from Part III."
March 2008: Indian Educators Federation v. Dirk Kempthorne
At issue in this case is the scope of Section 12 of the IRA of 1934, 25 USC Section 472 (1976) and whether the Act mandates employment preferences for American Indians employed in any position in the Interior Department that directly and primarily relates to the provision of service to American Indians.
Feb. 2008: ALASKA, PETITIONER v. NATIVE VILLAGE OF VENETIE
"A dependent Indian community requires a showing of federal set aside and federal superintendence. These requirements are to be construed broadly and should be informed in the particular case by a consideration of the following factors: 1. the nature of the area; 2. the relationship of the area inhabitants to Indian tribes and the federal government; 3. the established practice of government agencies toward the area; 4. the degree of federal ownership of and control over the are; 5. the degree of cohesiveness of the area inhabitants; and 6. the extent to which the area was set aside for the use, occupancy, and protection of dependent Indian peoples."
Nov. 2007 House of Reps v. Governor of Florida
Florida House of Reps filed suit against the Governor of Florida for negotiating and attempting to enact without ratification of the state legislature a tribal state compact that violated state gaming laws.
August 2007: Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas v. Sec. of Interior
August 17, 2007: This is a high-stakes litigation involving a challenge to the procedures adopted by the Secretary of the Interior to circumvent the consequences of the Supreme Courts 11 Amendment decision.
July 2007: Apache Tribe of Oklahoma v. USA
The Court concludes that because it is not apparent from the administrative record that the proper determinations were made with regard to the Chickasaw off-track wagering compact, that this matter should be remanded to the Secretary for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. The Secretary and the NIGC are instructed to determine whether the land in Marlow Oklahoma that is the subject to the Compact is “Indian land”under IGRA and should consider the applicability of § 2719 to the parcel.
Feb. 2007: San Manuel v U. S. Labor Board
The court ruled in favor of the U. S. Labor Board having oversight of labor issues at this tribal casino. Federal courts are making it increasing clear that Native American tribes are not going to be allowed to engage in businesses indistinguishable from those operated by non Indians free from regulatory laws which non Indian competitors are subject too.
Oct. 2006: Colorado River Indian Tribe v NIGC
“The District Court had held that IGRA does not authorize the NIGC to promulgate or enforce its Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS) against Class III Indian gaming. The District Court reasoned that IGRA directs Tribes and States to negotiate the regulatory roles for Class III gaming through the compacting process, and limits the NIGC’s role over Class III gaming to audit review and ordinance oversight and approval.” View related items:Stand Up For California Alerts the Governor, CGCC, Senator Feinstein.
March 2005: Sherill vs. Onieda
This case resolved a taxation issue specific to the Oneida and the City of Sherill. However, the Supreme Court Justices provided significant legal guidance in the opinion steering the legal requirement for land to be taken into trust. The Secretary of the Interior must give grave consideration to the non tribal population and the regional area that have justifiable expectations that the land remains similar in character regarding zoning, jurisdiction and critical health and safety issues.
Sept. 2004: Relation Back Doctrine
While this GAO report concentrated on conflicts with utility Rights-of-way not being resolved through existing remedies with regards to Alaska native Allotments, the court decisions cited in the report have an impact elsewhere in Indian Country. "Once the preference right becomes vested, the preference relates back to the initiation of occupancy and takes preference over rights of way or other uses of the land filed subsequent to the commencement of use and occupancy by the Native. Thus where a Native allotment application was filed after a highway right of way was issued, the native allotment 'related back' and nullified the right of way that had already been granted."
May 2004: Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, Defendant,state of Michigan
Indeed, the only evidence of intent strongly suggests that the thrust of the IGRA is to promote Indian gaming, not to limit it. See 25 U.S.C. § 2702(1) (providing that the purpose of the statute is to provide a statutory basis for gaming by Indian tribes "as a means of promoting tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments"). Although § 2719 creates a presumptive bar against casino-style gaming on Indian lands acquired after the enactment of the IGRA, that bar should be construed narrowly (and the exceptions to the bar broadly) in order to be consistent with the purpose of the IGRA, which is to encourage gaming. Cf. City of Roseville v. Norton, 348 F.3d 1020, 1030-32 (D.C.Cir.2003) (holding that the "restoration of lands" exception should be interpreted broadly because the IGRA's exceptions "embody policies counseling for a broader reading" due to the statute's general purpose of promoting tribal economic development and self-sufficiency; also applying the Indian canon of statutory construction to resolve any ambiguities in favor of a broad reading of the "restoration of lands" exception).
July 2003: State of Oregon vs. Confederated Tribes of Coos Bay
Both the Grand Traverse and this ruling go to the heart of the "restored lands" analysis. In sum, I find that the phrase "restoration of lands" was not intended by Congress to be narrowly construed and limited to the lands included in the congressional enactments which restore tribal status. Therefore, the Secretary's interpretation is a permissible and reasonable construction of the statute.
April 2004: United States v. Lara
 
April 2004: CETAC v. Norton.
United States District Court: Civil Action No. 02-1754 (TPJ) CETAC challenged the adequacy of the Tribe's EA analysis in several respects and disputes the conclusions of the Secretary of the Interior that the project will have no significant impact. The court rules in favor of CETAC. This is a significant win for environmental protections.
2003: INYO COUNTY v. PAIUTE-SHOSHONE INDIANS
 
2003: Artichoke Joe's v SOI Gale Norton
Proposition 1A is consistent with the intent of IGRA and does not impair petitioners equal protections under the law.
Jul 2001:Campo v USA and City of San Diego
A coalition of San Diego Tribes alleged a claim to the Navy Training Center as aboriginal lands. Suit originally filed in District Court in Washington DC Dec. 18, 1998.
2001: Nevada v. Hicks (2002) 121 S. Ct. 2304
The decision relied on two previous rulings, Montana v. U.S. and Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe. The Supreme Court held that the tribal court did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate state officials conduct in executing a search warrant to a tribal member for an off reservation crime. More importantly, the Supreme Court in regards to the jurisdictional reach of tribal courts over non members, stated: "...tribal courts, it should be clear, cannot be courts of general jurisdiction in this sense, for a tribe's inherent adjudicative jurisdiction over non members is at most only as broad as its legislative jurisdiction." Id. At. 2314." Absent a federal law providing tribal court jurisdiction over a particular cause of action, tribal courts lack jurisdiction to adjudicate actions over non-tribal
Feb. 25, 1998: Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Gov't
Failed to meet the federal set aside requirement of superintendance.
1998: Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma v Manufacturing Technologies
An Indian tribe is entitled to sovereign immunity from suit on a promissory note even if it is signed off of the reservation. An Indian tribe's immunity follows the tribe not the reservation lands. While the Supreme Court drew the bounds of tribal immunity it also noted that Congress can alter its limits through explicit legislation.
March 1997: Confederated Tribes of Siletz v. US
The Siletz Tribe sued the governor of Oregon for refusing to concur. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Governor. Tribes promoting gaming off-reservation under Section 20 do not have the legal authority to 'obligate' the Governor to concur with the Secretary of the Interior. The governor's concurrence is an exercise of "executive powers" on an infrequent and episodic basis. The law merely says that the Governor may concur ~if the Governor does not concur, the tribe does not get a tribal state compact.
March 1996: Seminole v. State of Florida
In this case, the Supreme Court held that the Indian tribes cannot sue states under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in federal courts without state permission. In other words the tribes cannot force states to negotiate gaming compacts. The decision was based on the 11th Amendment to the constitution which provides that a state can only be sued in its own courts or if it consents to the suit. Basically, states have a sovereign immunity from lawsuits filed in federal courts and Congress cannot abridge that immunity through passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
August 1995: RUMSEY INDIAN v WILSON
This case was of major significance and ruled on the issue of whether the tribe can have slot machines because the lottery operates similar games. This case was decided for the tribe, but appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth circuit held for the state and decided that Indian tribes cannot offer banked games such as slots.
1987: CALIFORNIA v. CABAZON BAND OF MISSION INDIANS, 480 U.S. 202
Landmark case that has transformed Indian Country and its peoples. Gaming is a civil regulatory activity and thus tribes exercise governance over this activity. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988 to regulate and permit gaming on Indian lands. IGRA made certain requirements on Tribes and States for class III gaming.
1981: Montana v United States, 450 U.S. 544
The case ruled over both the criminal and civil position of tribal government authority. Tribal governments do not have civil regulatory jurisdiction over non-Indian activities on fee lands or owned lands inside of tribal reservations. Tribes simply do not have full regulatory authority over non-Indians. Moreover, the Supreme Court is reading this case broadly stating that tribes do not have inherent jurisdiction over non-Indians civil matters at all although tribal governments may regulate hunting and fishing on trial lands. There are two exceptions in this ruling: 1. Citizens who enter into contracts with tribes are bound and under tribal jurisdiction. 2. Or the civil activity o non-Indian citizens threatens the political integrity of the tribal government or the health or security of the Indian government.
(1978) Oliphant v Suquamish Indian Tribe, 435 U.S. 191
The case simply ruled that tribes have no inherent criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians.
June 27, 1978: Coast Indian Community Appeal
Coast Indian Community unpublished decision (not precedent) the court allowed the award of money to be distributed to the Coast Indian Community entity, but only because the individual Indians had so stipulated upon remand. Thus, where no tribe was identified, named, or designated on the original deeds for the Rancherias, it would still require a new deed to be created by the original/surviving beneficiaries to transfer the property to a subsequently recognized/organized tribe.
Feb. 23, 1977: Coast Indian Community
U. S. Court of Claims: Coast Indian Community v. United States 550 F.2d 639 (Ct. Cl. 1977), the individual Indians are the beneficial owners of the property, and the tribe has never been recognized to lawfully “exercise governmental power,” as defined by IGRA, over the property.
March 27, 1973: MESCALERO APACHE TRIBE v. JONES, COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF REVENUE
 

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