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Indian Law Bulletins  |  Federal Trial Courts  |  2011

A service of the National Indian Law Library of the Native American Rights Fund


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Text highlighted in blue are links to information available on the Internet free of charge. Text highlighted in green are links to information available on Westlaw, for the convenience of those who have a Westlaw account. Please contact the National Indian Law Library if you need help obtaining legal documents.

The National Indian Law Library and Native American Rights Fund are not affiliated with Westlaw. See www.westlaw.com for more information about the Westlaw legal databases.

* Synopsis and holding provided under an agreement with Westlaw.com www.westlaw.com

December

Wells Fargo Bank v. Maynahonah
2011 WL 6826825
No. CV 11 648 D.
United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma, Dec. 28, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Before the Court is the Amended Motion to Intervene [Doc. No. 46], filed by TGS Anadarko, LLC ("TGS") pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 24. The Amended Motion is accompanied by a proposed complaint, as required by Rule 24(c). It was filed the same day that the Court denied TGS's initial motion due to noncompliance with Rule 24(c). See Order 7/20/11 [Doc. No. 45]. Defendants have timely opposed the motion; Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has responded in support of it. The time for filing a reply brief has expired. Thus, the motion is at issue.
[...]
This declaratory judgment action under 28 U.S.C. ss 2201-02 and 28 U.S.C. s 1331, seeks a determination of the federal question of whether the Apache Business Committee and the Apache Gaming Commission have jurisdiction over Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank with respect to a loan agreement between Plaintiff and the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma (the "Tribe"), and assignments of a lease agreement between the Tribe and KAGD, LLC.[...]"

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Colorado v. Western Sky Financial
845 F.Supp.2d 1178
No. 11–cv–00887.
United States District Court, D. Colorado, Dec. 27, 2011

*Synopsis: Colorado Attorney General and Administrator of Uniform Consumer Credit Code filed state court action against South Dakota limited liability company and its sole manager and executive officer, who was enrolled member of Indian tribe, that allegedly had made unlicensed supervised loans with excessive finance charges via Internet to Colorado consumers, seeking injunctive relief and damages for alleged violations of Colorado Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC) and Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). Defendants removed action to federal court on basis of federal question jurisdiction, noting that loan agreement stated it was governed by Indian Commerce Clause and claiming complete preemption. The District Court, Kathleen M. Tafoya, United States Magistrate Judge, 2011 WL 2457861, granted in part and denied in part plaintiffs' motion to stay discovery and related matters pending remand. Plaintiffs moved to remand to state court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

*Holdings: The District Court, R. Brooke Jackson, J., held that under the well-pleaded complaint rule, case was not removable to federal court and had to be remanded. Motion granted.

 

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan v. National Labor Relations Board
2011 WL 6754102
No. 11 14652
United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Dec. 23, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This case involves competing claims to jurisdiction-more precisely, the lack thereof. The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan filed suit in this Court to enjoin the National Labor Relations Board from applying the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U .S.C. ss 151-69, to the Tribe's casino operations. Moving for a preliminary injunction, the Tribe contends that it is not subject to the Board's jurisdiction as the Act does not expressly provide that it applies to Indian tribes. The Board, in turn, moves to dismiss the Tribe's complaint, contending this Court lacks jurisdiction because the Act "requires parties to exhaust administrative remedies before the Board and an appropriate court of appeals." Whether the Tribe is correct that the Board lacks jurisdiction or the Board is correct that this Court lacks jurisdiction (or, indeed, whether they are both correct) are issues that will ultimately be resolved by the Sixth Circuit, regardless of what this Court decides. Nevertheless, this Court concludes that the Board has the better argument regarding this Court's jurisdiction-more precisely, the lack thereof.[...]"

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Everglades Ecolodge at Big Cypress, LLC v. Seminole Tribe of Florida
836 F.Supp.2d 1296
Case No. 11–60839–civ.
United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Dec. 22, 2011

*Synopsis: Developer brought action against tribe in state court, alleging breach of lease for development of resort and for specific performance. Tribe removed action to federal court and moved to dismiss. Developer moved to remand.

*Holdings: The District Court, Marcia G. Cooke, J. held that:
(1) developer's claims arose under federal law;
(2) state court's jurisdiction was preempted; and
(3) waiver of sovereign immunity in lease was invalid.

Defendant's motion granted; Plaintiffs' motion denied.

Osage Nation v. Wind Capital Group, LLC
2011 WL 6371384
No. 11 CV 643 GKF PJC
United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma, Dec. 20, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "In short, plaintiff has not met its burden on its claims for declaratory and injunctive relief under either federal or state law. Plaintiff did not prove that the Wind Farm will unreasonably interfere with plaintiff's right to make reasonable use of the surface estate, nor did it prove that the Wind Farm will unreasonably hinder the right to use so much of the surface as may be reasonable for oil and gas operations and marketing. Plaintiff also failed to prove that it would be irreparably harmed unless an order enjoining construction and operation of the Wind Farm is granted; that the threatened injury to the Tribe outweighs the harm the injunction may cause the defendants; and that the injunction, if issued, would not adversely affect the public interest. Accordingly, The Osage Nation's request for declaratory relief and a permanent injunction barring Defendants from constructing a wind farm in Osage County, Oklahoma, is denied and the action shall be dismissed on the merits by separate Judgment entered contemporaneously herewith."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Crow Tribe of Indians v. Peters
2011 WL 6337641
No. CV 10 95 BLG CSO
United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division, Dec. 19, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe and mineral lessee brought action against owner of surface estate, alleging illegal interference with lessee's rights to use surface. Parties moved and cross–moved for partial summary judgment.

*Holdings: The District Court, Carolyn S. Ostby, United States Magistrate Judge, held that:
(1) federal law controlled action;
(2) lessee was not required to obtain surface owner's consent prior to exercising its surface rights;
(3) letter from Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) did not alter applicable law; and
(4) issue presented was ripe for judicial review.

Plaintiffs' motion granted in part and owner's motion denied.

Lewis v. Tulalip Housing Limited Partnership #3
2011 WL 6140881
No. C11 1596 RSM
United States District Court, W.D. Washington, at Seattle, December 9, 2011


*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff's Motion to Remand to State Court and for an Award of Fees and Costs (Dkt.# 7). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED.

Plaintiff brought this action in Snohomish County Superior Court on July 1, 2011, naming defendants Mike Alva, Patti Gobin, Chuck James, and Jane Doe James (the "Individual Defendants"), Raymond James Native American Housing Opportunities Fund II, L.L.C. (the "Fund"), and Tulalip Housing Limited Partnership # 3 (the "Partnership"). Plaintiff is a citizen of the state of Washington. The Individual Defendants are enrolled members of the Tulalip Tribes, who live on the Tulalip Reservation, and are also Washington residents. The Partnership is a Washington limited partnership with its principal place of business in Washington. The Fund is a Delaware limited liability corporation with its principal place of business in Florida. [...]"

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Friends of Amador County, Bea v. Salazar
2011 WL 6141291
No. CIV. 2:10 348 WBS CKD
United States District Court, E.D. California, December 9, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "On August 16, 2011, the Buena Vista Indians (the "Tribe") requested permission to Rancheria of Me-Wuk appear specially to present a motion to dismiss based on failure to join a necessary and indispensable party under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19. (Docket No. 32.) On October 4, 2011, the court issued an order dismissing the action. (Docket No. 62.) Plaintiffs now move to reconsider, vacate, amend, or modify this court's order of October 4, 2011."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Gold River, Llc v. La Jolla Band of Luiseno Mission Indians
2011 WL 6152291
No. 11cv1750 JM(BGS)
United States District Court, S.D. California, December 9, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Defendant La Jolla Band of Luiseno Mission Indians ("La Jolla Band") moves to dismiss the action based upon the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Plaintiff Gold River, LLC ("Gold River") opposes the motion. Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(d)(1), the court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. For the reasons set forth below, the court grants the motion to dismiss with prejudice and instructs the Clerk of Court to close the file."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Alturas Indian Rancheria v. California Gambling Control Commission
2011 WL 6130912
No. CIV. S 11 2070 LKK/EFB
United States District Court, E.D. California, December 8, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiff in this case is the Del Rosa Faction of the Alturas Valley Indian Tribe. The Del Rosas filed this action seeking to enjoin the California Gambling and Control Commission ("CGCC") from releasing funds held in trust for the Alturas Valley Indian Tribe to the IRS pursuant to two tax levies. Pending before the court are two motions to dismiss. One is by defendant-intervenor United States, and the other is a voluntary dismissal by plaintiff-intervenor, the Rose Faction of the Tribe."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

 

Blue Lake Rancheria v. Morgenstern
2011 WL 6100845
No. 2:11 CV 01124 JAM JFM
United States District Court, E.D. California, December 6, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Marty Morgenstern ("Morgenstern"), Pam Harris ("Harris"), Jack Budmark ("Budmark"), Talbott Smith ("Smith"), Kathy Dunne ("Dunne") and Sarah Reece ("Reece"), the State of California (the "State"), and the Employment Development Department ("EDD") (collectively "Defendants") Motion to Dismiss (Docs.# 26, # 36) Plaintiffs' Blue Lake Rancheria ("the Tribe"), Blue Lake Rancheria Economic Development Corporation ("EdCo"), and Mainstay Business Solutions ("Mainstay") (collectively "Plaintiffs") Complaint (Doc. # 1).

Defendants move to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of jurisdiction and 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Plaintiffs oppose the motion (Doc. # 46). For the reasons set forth below, the motion to dismiss is DENIED. "

*Holdings: (not yet available)

 

Northwestern Band of Shoshone v. United States
2011 WL 6091340
No. 06-914 L.
United States Court of Federal Claims, December 6, 2011


See Also:

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe v. United States
2011 WL 6062269
No. 06-922 L.
United States Court of Federal Claims, December 1, 2011


*Synopsis: Indian tribe brought action against the United States, seeking money damages for alleged breaches of trust responsibilities. Government moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Block, J., held that Court lacked jurisdiction.
Motion granted.

Yakama Nation Housing Authority v. United States
2011 WL 6062362
No. 08-839C
United States Court of Federal Claims, December 5, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian nation's housing authority brought action against United States, alleging that Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) improperly reduced Indian Housing Block Grants that authority received under Native American Housing and Self–Determination Act (NAHASDA) over course of several years and seeking to account for and recover purportedly withheld grant funds. Government moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state claim."

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Smith, Senior Judge, held that:
(1) authority's other district court filings did not divest court of jurisdiction;
(2) some of authority's claims were time–barred;
(3) NAHASDA was money–mandating statute for purposes of court's jurisdiction;
(4) Anti–Deficiency Act did not bar relief on authority's claims;
(5) Congress did not bar court's jurisdiction under NAHASDA; and
(6) enforceable trust relationship existed between authority and HUD.
Motion granted in part and denied in part.

Related News Stories: Judge rules in favor of Klamath Tribes in water rights case (The Sacramento Bee) 12/13/11

 

Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. United States
2011 WL 6017542
No. 06-924 L
United States Court of Federal Claims, December 2, 2011
See also:
Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma v. United States
2011 WL 6017188
No. 06-918 L
United States Court of Federal Claims, December 2, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe brought action against the United States, seeking money damages for alleged breaches of trust responsibilities arising out of mismanagement of tribal trust assets. Government moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Merow, Senior Judge, held that Court lacked jurisdiction.
Motion granted.

November

Brandt v. United States
2011 WL 6076190
No. 09-265 L
United States Court of Federal Claims, November 30, 2011

*Synopsis: Claimants brought action against government, alleging a taking of their property interests in a railroad right-of-way that traversed their Wyoming property. Government filed motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Hewitt, Chief Judge, held that claimants' takings suit was "pending" for the purposes of statute depriving Court of Federal Claims of jurisdiction over claim for or in respect to which the plaintiff has pending suit against United States in another court where suit was filed during the period after district court had entered judgment on claimants' takings counterclaim but before the time to appeal that judgment had expired.
Motion granted.

Prairie Band of Potawatomi Indians v. United States
2011 WL 5925328
No. 06-921 L
United States Court of Federal Claims, Nov. 29, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe brought action against the United States, seeking money damages for alleged breaches of its fiduciary duties with respect to tribal assets held in trust by the Government. Government moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Bush, J., held that Court lacked jurisdiction.
Motion granted.

Thorpe v. Borough of Jim Thorpe
2011 WL 5878377
Civil Action No. 3:10-CV-01317
United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania, Nov. 23, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Presently before the Court are Defendants' Motions to Dismiss the Amended Complaint, Motions to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 25, and Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiffs state a claim under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and no further parties are necessary to the action, so Defendants' motion to dismiss will be denied in part. But because Plaintiffs fail to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. s 1983 or the Equal Access to Justice Act, Defendants' motions to dismiss will be granted in part. Further, since no statement noting death has been served, a motion for substitution is not yet required, so Defendants' motions to dismiss pursuant to Rule 25 will be denied. Finally, because leave to amend should be granted freely, Plaintiffs' motion to amend will be granted. "

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Wyandotte Nation v. Salazar
2011 WL 5841611
Civil Action No. 11-1361 (BAH)
United States District Court, District of Columbia, Nov. 22, 2011

*Synopsis: Federally recognized Indian tribe sought writ of mandamus to compel Secretary of Department of Interior to accept trust title to land, pursuant to Land Claim Settlement Act. Defendant moved to transfer venue.

*Holdings: The District Court, Beryl A. Howell, J., held that:
(1) public interest factors favored transfer to Kansas, and
(2) private interest factors favored transfer to Kansas.

Motion granted.



City of Duluth v. Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
2011 WL 5854639
Civil No. 09-2668 (SRN/LIB)
United States District Court, D. Minnesota, Nov. 21, 2011

*Synopsis: City sued band of Native American tribe, alleging breach of contractual obligations created when city and band agreed to establish casino in city's downtown, and also seeking declaration that parties' contracts were valid and enforceable, damages, and injunction ordering band to comply with its contractual obligations or, alternatively, accelerated damages for estimated amounts owed to city for remainder of contractual relationship. Tribe asserted counterclaims, alleging that contracts were unenforceable. After entry of summary judgment barring tribe from challenging agreement's validity, 708 F.Supp.2d 890, and entry of order compelling tribe to arbitrate amount of rent to be paid to city for extension term, 2011 WL 1832786, tribe moved for relief from judgment.

*Holdings: The District Court, Susan Richard Nelson, J., held that:
(1) parties' agreement was subject to National Indian Gaming Commission's (NIGC) authority;
(2) NIGC's notice of violation was change in law warranting relief from consent decree;
(3) arbitration provision in joint venture agreement was no longer enforceable; and
(4) NIGC's notice of violation did not apply retroactively.

Motion granted in part and denied in part.

Coeur D'Alene Tribe v. United States
2011 WL 5822177
Briefs from Turtletalk
No. 06-940 L
United States Court of Federal Claims, Nov. 18, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe sued United States, seeking damages for alleged mismanagement of tribe's trust funds and resources. Government moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Damich, J., held that:
(1) tribe's suit was for or in respect to same claim as tribe's suit in district court, and
(2) jurisdiction was barred by tribe's pending suit filed same day in district court.

Motion granted.

Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska v. United States
2011 WL 5600535
Briefs from Turtletalk
No. 06-920 L
United States Court of Federal Claims, Nov. 17, 2011

*Synopsis: Native American tribe brought action against United States, seeking damages for government's alleged mismanagement of tribe's trust funds and resources. Government moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Damich, J., held that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over action.
Motion granted.

October

Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla & Cupeno Indians v. Salazar
2011 WL 5118733
No. 10cv1448 AJB (NLS).
United States District Court, S.D. California, Oct. 28, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) “Presently before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 21) and Defendants' Cross Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 33). For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, and Defendants' Cross Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
[...]
This case arises from the Defendant Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA"), Office of Justice Services' ("OJS") denial of Plaintiff's request for a law enforcement funding contract under the Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act ("ISDEAA"), 25 U.S.C. s 450 et seq. These contracts are commonly known as "638 contracts."”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

ERTC, LLC. v. Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 5118772
No. 11cv2148-WQH-NLS.
United States District Court, Southern District of California, Oct. 28, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) “The matter before the Court is the “Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause Re: Preliminary Injunction Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65”(“Application for Temporary Restraining Order”). (ECF No. 11).
[…]
On September 15, 2011, Plaintiff ERTC, LLC (“ERTC”) filed a “Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Unjust Enrichment” against Defendant Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians (“Los Coyotes”). (ECF No. 1). Los Coyotes is a federally recognized Native American Indian Tribe whose Reservation is located in San DiegoCounty California. Plaintiff alleges that Plaintiff “has provided good and valid consideration for a lease of a portion of Los Coyotes’ 25,000 acre reservation ... in Warner Springs ... for ERTC’s use in providing shooting ranges and tactical training for law enforcement and military personnel. Los Coyotes approved the Lease and proceeded to further ratify it by repeatedly accepting the benefits of the Lease.” (ECF No. 1 at 2). Plaintiff alleges that “Los Coyotes suddenly disavowed the Lease,” and “[a]fter breaking off negotiations, on September 12, 2011, the Tribe issued a Notice of Violation of Tribal Ordinances.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that “[m]embers of Los Coyotes even threatened to take matters into their own hands if ERTC did not vacate the leased property—tragically, such threats came to fruition when the Tribe allowed certain Tribal members to take matters into their own hands by pouring gasoline on ERTC’s security boot and lighting it on fire, and destroying new surveillance cameras that were installed following the fire.” Id. On September 16, 2011, Plaintiff filed an Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order. (ECF No. 4). On September 19, 2011, Los Coyotes filed an Opposition to the application. (ECF No. 7). On September 20, 2011, a hearing on the application was held before this Court, at which the application was withdrawn.”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Alturas Indian Rancheria V. California Gambling Control Commission
2011 WL 5118974
No. CIV. S-11-2070 LKK/EFB.
United States District Court, E.D. California, Oct. 25, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) “This case is another arising from the dispute between members of the Alturas tribe. It is one more demonstration of why that case should settle, and why the ongoing dispute is not in the best interest of the tribe. This case involves funds held in trust by the California Gambling and Control Commission for the Alturas Valley Indian Rancheria, a federally-recognized Indian Tribe. Pending before the court is a Motion to Intervene by the United States. For the reasons stated herein, the motion to intervene is GRANTED. ”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

 

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska v. United States
2011 WL 5042385
No. 06-913L
United States Court of Federal Claims, Oct. 25, 2011

*Synopsis: During pendency of action in which Indian tribe sought an accounting based on Government's alleged failure to properly generate, invest, or manage tribe's trust assets, tribe brought a second action, seeking monetary damages for those failures. Government moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, Sweeney, J., held that statute depriving Court of jurisdiction over claims already pending in another court required dismissal.
Motion granted.

Wolfchild v. United States
2011 WL 5075078
Nos. 03-2684L, 01-568L
United States Court of Federal Claims, Oct. 25, 2011

*Synopsis: Government moved for reconsideration of a partial final judgment of the United States Court of Federal Claims, 101 Fed.Cl. 54, granting awards, pursuant to the Indian Tribal Judgment Funds Use or Distribution Act, to approximately 20,750 persons of Indian descent on their claims for revenue derived from use of lands reserved for eligible Indians.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Lettow, J., held that upon Reports Elimination Act's repeal of Secretary of the Interior's duty under Indian Tribal Judgment Funds Use or Distribution Act to submit to Congress a plan for the use and distribution of the funds to pay a judgment of the Court of Federal Claims to any Indian tribe, Court of Federal Claims regained its general powers of effectuation of its judgments, including by issuing "a remit, remand, and direction to the Secretary of the Interior to provide a report to the court within the time specified in Indian Tribal Judgment Funds Use or Distribution Act".
Motion denied.

La Cuna De Aztlan Sacred Sites Prot. Circle Advisory Comm. v. United States DOI
2011 WL 5545473
Briefs from Turtletalk
No. CV 11-00395 ODW (OPx)
United States District Court, C.D. California, Oct. 24, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) “This lawsuit arises out of Plaintiffs' challenges to Defendents' actions in connection with a solar-electricity generation project called the Chevron Energy Solutions Lucerne Solar Project. [...] Plaintiffs allege that Federal Defendents: (1) failed to consult with Plaintiffs regarding the Project as required under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA); (2) 'failed to conduct an analysis of the cumulative impacts, failed to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement, failed to adequately identify and evaluate the significance of the affected cultural environment, and failed to conduct an adequate analysis of alternatives to the project' in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act [...]”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley v. Salazar
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 5038356
No. 5:09-cv-02502 EJD.
United States District Court, N.D. California, Oct. 24, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) “Presently before the Court is the motion of Intervenors County of Sonoma and County of Napa (the "Counties"), who jointly seek dismissal of this action filed by Plaintiff Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley (the "Tribe"). Both the Tribe and the Federal Defendants (the "Government") oppose the motion. According to the FAC, this court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ss 1331 and 1361. See FAC at PP 2, 3. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be denied.
[...]
On June 5, 2009, the Tribe filed a complaint against the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Interior seeking federal recognition and the protection, services and benefits which stem from such recognition. See Complaint, Docket Item No. 1. In addition, the Tribe seeks an order directing the Secretary to take into trust public lands currently held by the Department of the Interior for the benefit of the Tribe. See id. A First Amended Complaint ("FAC") was thereafter filed on May 10, 2010.”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Desautel v. Dupris
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 5025270
No. CV-11-0301-EFS
United States District Court, E.D. Washington, Oct. 21, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion)“Plaintiffs Shawn DesAutel, Tamara Davis, and Tonia DesAutel filed this pro se lawsuit on August 16, 2011. The essence of Plaintiffs' ninety-two-page Complaint and accompanying 439-pages of exhibits, ECF No. 1, is that the Colville Tribal Court and Business Council and individuals with those entities "Individual Defendants) (collectively "Defendants") violated Plaintiffs' U.S. constitutional rights 1) by granting them adopted tribal membership rather than enrolled tribal membership, 2) through the process used to deny enrolled tribal membership, and 3) by requiring Mr. DesAutel to pay the Colville Business Council's attorneys fees and costs incurred as a result of his tribal- court lawsuits. Although Plaintiffs are treated as adopted tribal members, Plaintiffs seek enrolled tribal membership: enrolled tribal membership will allow Plaintiffs to receive additional tribal per capita payments. Plaintiffs ask the Court to set aside the Colville Business Council and Colville Tribal Court's decisions and orders and find that Plaintiffs are entitled to enrolled tribal membership and receipt of the accompanying per capita payments. [...] the Court denies Plaintiffs' motions and grants and denies in part Defendants' motion: judgment is entered in Defendants' favor.”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

United States v. Washington
2011 WL 4945211
No. C70-9213 RSM
United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Oct. 18, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) “The State of Washington filed a request for dispute resolution under section 9 of the Shellfish Implementation Plan (SIP) to resolve a dispute between the State and the Squaxin Island Tribe regarding proposed leases of state land for private aquaculture activity. In response to the State's request for dispute resolution, United States District Judge Ricardo Martinez referred this subproceeding to the undersigned magistrate judge to hear and determine the dispute pursuant to Paragraphs 9.1.1 and 9.2 of the Shellfish Implementation Plan.”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Salton Sea Venture, Inc. v. Ramsey
2011 WL 4945072
No. 11cv1968-IEG (WMC)
United States District Court, S.D. California, Oct. 18, 2011.

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) “Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Salton Sea Venture, Inc. ("SSV")'s motion for a preliminary injunction. [Doc. No. 1-6.] For the reasons below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. [...] Plaintiff Salton Sea Venture, Inc. is the owner and operator of a fuel station and convenience stores known as the "ARCO Travel Center" located in Salton City, California. [Doc. No. 1-3, Compl. PP 1, 6-7.] Plaintiff's travel center is located six miles from the "Red Earth Travel Center." [Id. P 8.] Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants Robert Ramsey and First American Petroleum through their actions at the Red Earth Travel Center have violated state law by (1) selling fuel at a price below its cost; (2) failing to charge patrons taxes; (3) selling fuel that does not meet California's minimum standards for reformulated gas; (4) failing to register with the Secretary of State; (5) selling fuel at an anti-competitive price in order to put Plaintiff out of business; and (6) selling fuel at an anti-competitive price resulting in the loss of sale of Plaintiff's business.”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Western Sky Financial, LLC v. Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation
2011 WL 4929485
Civil No. WDQ-11-1256
United States District Court, D. Maryland, Northern Division, Oct. 13, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Western Sky Financial, LLC, Great Sky Finance, LLC, PayDay Financial, LLC, and Martin A. Webb ("plaintiffs"), sued the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation ("CFR"), for declaratory relief. For the following reasons, the CFR's motion to dismiss will be granted. [...]
Martin Webb, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe who resides on the Cheyenne River Reservation, owns Western Sky Financial, LLC, Great Sky Finance, LLC, and PayDay Financial, LLC, internet-based loan companies. ECF No. 1 PP 1- 2. All the plaintiffs reside on the Reservation. Id. The three companies state in their loan agreements that: (1) the agreement is subject to the exclusive laws of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, (2) the debtor consents to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court, (3) the agreement is governed by the Indian Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe laws, and (4) the company is subject to the laws of no state."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Fast Horse v. United States
101 Fed.Cl. 544
No. 11–264L
United States Court of Federal Claims, Oct. 12, 2011

*Synopsis: Member of Lakota Sioux Indian tribe filed putative class action against President, Secretary of Interior, and state governor seeking money damages arising from his incarceration in state prison. United States moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Wheeler, J., held that:
(1) Indian Claims Commission Act (ICCA) did not provide jurisdiction over claims;
(2) plaintiff's Bivens claims did not fall within scope of court's jurisdiction; and
(3) plaintiff was not authorized to present claims on behalf of other tribe members.
Motion granted.

Omaha Tribe of Nebraska v. United States
2011 WL 4793244
No. 06-911L
United States Court of Federal Claims, Oct. 7, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe brought action against federal government, seeking monetary award in relation to trust accounting and management duties and responsibilities allegedly owed to tribe by government. Government argued to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, in light of tribe's pending action in United States District Court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Firestone, J., held that court lacked jurisdiction under Indian Tucker Act.
Action dismissed.

Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation v. Western Sky Financial, LLC
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 4894075
Civil No. WDQ-11-0735
United States District Court, D. Maryland, Northern Division, Oct. 6, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "In an administrative proceeding, the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation ("CFR") ordered Western Sky Financial, LLC, Great Sky Finance, LLC, PayDay Financial, LLC, and Martin A. Webb ("defendants"), to cease and desist from lending money to Maryland customers. The defendants removed to this Court. For the following reasons, the CFR's motion to remand will be granted, and the defendants' motion to dismiss will be remanded."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Miller v. Wright
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 4712245
No. 3:11–cv–05395 RBL
United States District Court, W.D. Washington, at Tacoma, Oct. 6, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "On May 26, 2011, Plaintiffs filed the current suit against Defendants Wright, Dillon, and the Tribe. In their complaint, Plaintiffs allege price-fixing, antitrust, and unfair competition by Defendants in violation of the Sherman and Clayton Antirust Acts, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1–26, by imposing taxes on all purchases of cigarettes within the boundaries of the Puyallup Indian Reservation. Plaintiff seeks an injunction against Defendants to bar them from collecting taxes or any other additional fees on cigarette purchases by non-member, non-Indian buyers from Matheson's retail store. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Wright, as Tax Enforcement Officer of the Tribe, acted beyond the scope of his authority by agreeing to “force Plaintiffs to charge and pay higher prices” at the same time he was CEO of Tahoma Market, a competitor of Matheson's store. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Dillon, as Chairman of the Tribe, acted beyond the scope of his authority by knowingly violating federal antitrust and price control laws and by signing the Tribe–State tax agreement in 2005. [...]
Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss, arguing that this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case based upon the Tribe's sovereign immunity and the res judicata effect of prior rulings of Washington courts and Puyallup Tribal Courts. Defendants argue that a combination of plaintiffs in the instant case have already fully litigated the issue of tribal sovereign immunity and lost. Defendants argue that new plaintiffs do not lift the res judicata effect as all plaintiffs are in privity with one another and thus bound by previous sovereign immunity rulings. Defendants also argue that the Tribe's sovereign immunity remains a bar to suit, because no waiver of or exception to immunity is alleged in Plaintiffs' complaint. Plaintiffs, in their response to Defendants' motion argue that the Tribe waived sovereign immunity by dealing in wholesale or retail cigarette marketing and by ceding price-setting control of wholesale and minimum prices to the State."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Cobell v. Salazar
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 4590776
Civil. Action No. 96-01285 (TFH)
United States District Court, District of Columbia, Oct. 5, 2011

*Synopsis: Following final judgment approving a $3.412 billion settlement in class action involving allegations that the United States breached its trust obligations by mismanaging the money, land and resource assets of more than 450,000 Indians, plaintiffs filed motions for appeal bonds to be imposed against appellants./p>

*Holdings: The District Court, Thomas F. Hogan, J., held that attorney fees that could be assessed on appeal were not taxable as costs covered by appeal bonds.
Motions denied.

Related News Stories: Ruling clears way for appeals of Indian trust deal (The Examiner) 10/08/11

United States v. Native Wholesale Supply Co.
2011 WL 4704221
No. 08-CV-850
United States District Court, W.D. New York, Oct. 4, 2011

*Synopsis: United States brought action against Native American-owned tobacco importer for failing to pay its quarterly assessments as required by the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act (FETRA). The United States moved for summary judgment. Following transfer by Richard J. Arcara, J., the parties cross-moved for summary judgment.

*Holdings: The District Court, John T. Curtin, J., held that:
(1) Commodity Credit Corporation's (CCC) interpretation of FETRA was reasonable, and therefore entitled to Chevron deference;
(2) FETRA did not violate the Takings Clause or the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment; and
(3) Native American importers were not exempt from FETRA.
Government's motion granted; defendant's motion denied.

Alto v. Salazar
2011 WL 4591944
No. 11cv2276-IEG (BLM)
United States District Court, S.D. California, Oct. 4, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiffs, collectively known as the "Marcus Alto Sr. Descendants," seek declaratory and injunctive relief from a January 28, 2011 order issued by Defendant Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk finding that the Marcus Alto Sr. Descendants should be excluded from the San Pasqual tribal membership roll. Plaintiffs allege that the January 28, 2011 order was arbitrary and capricious in violation of their due process rights under the Fifth Amendment and the Administrative Procedure Act. Currently before the Court is Plaintiffs' Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order. [Doc. No. 3.] Plaintiffs allege that they gave notice to Defendants of their intention to file the present action and to seek interim relief. Having considered Plaintiffs' arguments, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the motion for a temporary restraining order and SCHEDULES a hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction for Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.
(1) Granting Temporary Restraining Order [Doc. No. 3], and
(2) Scheduling a hearing on motion for a preliminary injunction [Doc. No. 4]. "

*Holdings: (not yet available)

September

Vann v. Salazar
2011 WL 4953030
Civil Action No. 03-1711 (HHK)
United States District Court, District of Columbia, Sept. 30, 2011

*Synopsis: Descendants of so-called Freedmen, former slaves of Cherokees or free blacks who intermarried with Cherokees, sued Secretary of Department of Interior (DOI), tribe, tribal chief, and other tribal officers, alleging that they were disenfranchised in violation of the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the 1970 Principal Chiefs Act, the Cherokee Constitution, the Treaty of 1866, and the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA). Defendants moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., J., held that:
(1) Cherokee Nation would be prejudiced if action proceeded in its absence;
(2) prejudice to Nation could not be lessened or avoided if it was not party;
(3) judgment entered in Nation's absence would not be adequate;
(4) descendants would have adequate remedy if action was dismissed;
(5) public interest exception to application of joinder rules was inapplicable; and
(6) leave for descendants to amend its fourth amended complaint would be futile and was therefore denied.
Motion granted.

Larimer v. Konocti Vista Casino Resort, Marina & RV Park
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 4526023
No. C 11-01061 JW.
N.D. California, San Francisco Division., Sept. 29, 2011

*Synopsis: Discharged casino employee brought action against employer, a federally-recognized Indian tribe, and employer's chief executive officer (CEO), alleging defendants failed to pay overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and breached parties' employment contract. Defendants moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, James Ware, Chief Judge, held that:
(1) employer was entitled to tribal sovereign immunity;
(2) as a matter of first impression, FLSA did not abrogate tribal sovereign immunity; and
(3) CEO was entitled to tribal sovereign immunity.

Motion granted.

Muwekma Ohlone Tribe v. Salazar
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 4470643
Civil Action No. 03-1231 (RBW)
United States District Court, District of Columbia, Sept. 28, 2011

*Synopsis: Native American group brought action against Department of the Interior and agency officials, challenging decision declining to grant federal recognition to group as Native American tribe. Parties cross-moved for summary judgment.

*Holdings: The District Court, Reggie B. Walton, J., held that:
(1) claim alleging unlawful termination of federal recognition was time-barred;
(2) determination that group did not fulfill criteria for federal recognition was not arbitrary and capricious;
(3) group lacked trust relationship with government sufficient to create fiduciary duty;
(4) group lacked protected property interest in its prior acknowledgement;
(5) agency was not required to provide hearing to group; and
(6) group failed to show that it was "similarly situated" for equal protection purposes.

Defendants' motion granted.

Colombe v. Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 4458795
No. CIV 11-3002-RAL
United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Sept. 23, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiff Charles Colombe, a shareholder, director, and officer of BBC Entertainment, Inc. ("BBC") filed a Complaint against Defendants Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court, and Judge Sherman Marshall (collectively "Defendants"). Plaintiff seeks de novo review of a tribal court decision regarding a casino management contract dispute and an injunction prohibiting Defendants from continuing a tribal court action to pierce the corporate veil of BBC. Defendants seek, and Plaintiff opposes, dismissal of the Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. (Doc. 5, 8, 13). On August 17, 2011, this Court issued an Opinion and Order Regarding Motion to Dismiss resolving part of the issues and requiring submission of a tribal resolution missing from the record that affected the Court's analysis of waiver of tribal sovereign immunity. Since that time, both parties filed additional material relating to the issues in this case. This Court now denies in part the motion to dismiss."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria v. Dutschke
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 4404149
No. 2:10-cv-01306-GEB-GGH
United States District Court, E.D. California, Sept. 22, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria (the "Tribe") seeks an order under the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA") vacating and reversing the Bureau of Indian Affairs' ("BIA") administrative decision that ordered the Tribe to re-enroll twenty-two members of the Sloan/Hecker family who were disenrolled by the Tribe in 1995. A hearing on the pending cross motions for summary judgment was held on May 23, 2011. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied, Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted, and the BIA's decision is affirmed."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Related News Stories: Cahto Tribe loses disenrollment case to feds (Capitol Weekly) 10/06/11

Nisenan Maidu Tribe of the Nevada City Rancheria v. Salazar
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 4433830
No. 5:10-cv-00270-JF
United States District Court, N.D. California, Sept. 22, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiff moves to proceed in the matter of Tillie Hardwick, et al. v. United States, et al., No. C 79-1710 JF (filed July 10, 1979) (“Hardwick”). Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims as time-barred. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will defer consideration of both motions pending discovery with respect to the threshold question of whether Plaintiff is a Hardwick class member and is entitled to relief under the judgment in that case."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Native American Council of Tribes v. Weber
2011 WL 4382271
No. CIV. 09-4182-KES
United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Sept. 20, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiffs, Native American Council of Tribes, Blaine Brings Plenty, Brian Dubray, and Clayton Creek (collectively plaintiffs), brought suit against defendants, Douglas Weber, Timothy Reisch, and Marty Jackley (collectively defendants), alleging violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. s 2000cc, the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, 42 U.S.C. s 1996, and various international laws. Defendants move for summary judgment. Only Clayton Creek has filed a brief in opposition to the summary judgment motion. Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part. "

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Washoe Housing Authority v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
2011 WL 4047702
No. 3:08-cv-00617-RCJ-RAM
United States District Court, D. Nevada, Sept. 8, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This case arises out of the alleged improper interpretation and application of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act ("NAHASDA") by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"). Plaintiff Washoe Housing Authority ("WHA") has sued for declaratory and injunctive relief. The parties have filed cross motions for summary judgment. For the reasons given herein, the Court grants HUD's motion, denies WHA's motion, and grants WHA fourteen (14) days to amend."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians v. Pilchuck Group II. L.L.C.
2011 WL 4001088
No. C10-995RAJ
United States District Court, W.D. Washington, at Seattle, Sept. 7, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This matter comes before the court on a motion for summary judgment from Plaintiff, The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians (the "Tribe") and a barely distinguishable motion from Defendant Pilchuck Group II, L.L.C. ("Pilchuck"). [FN1] Dkt. 18, 21. Pilchuck also filed a motion to seal documents. Dkt. # 19. No party requested oral argument on any motion. For the reasons stated below, the court GRANTS the Tribe's motion because, as a matter of law, the Tribe did not waive its sovereign immunity from suits arising out of the contract at the core of this case. The court accordingly enjoins Pilchuck from pursuing its arbitration demand against the Tribe. The court DENIES Pilchuck's motion for the same reasons. The court DENIES the motion to seal, and directs the clerk to UNSEAL the documents at Docket No. 20. [FN2]

FN1. The court cannot imagine why the parties chose to duplicate their arguments repeatedly in two separate but essentially identical motions. That duplication extended to the evidentiary record, where the parties filed numerous copies of several documents. Had the parties agreed to file cross-motions, they would have reduced the number of briefs on these motions from six to four or even three. No one benefitted from the flood of paper before the court, least of all the parties.

FN2. Pilchuck filed its motion to seal merely to satisfy its obligation to protect documents the Tribe had designated as confidential. The Tribe did not respond to the motion, much less explain how sealing the documents complies with the standards set forth in Local Rules W.D. Wash. CR 5(g).

This order will also address a motion pending in Stillaguamish Tribal Enterprise Corp. v. Pilchuck Group II, L.L.C., Case No. C11-387RAJ. Stillaguamish Tribal Enterprise Corporation ("STECO") is a Tribe-chartered entity. In early 2011, Pilchuck supplemented its arbitration demand against the Tribe with a virtually identical demand against STECO regarding the same dispute. Like the Tribe, STECO sued to enjoin the arbitration, invoking its sovereign immunity. STECO moved for summary judgment. Dkt. # 6. Again, no one requested oral argument. The court DENIES STECO's motion solely because it finds that Pilchuck has not had an opportunity to pursue discovery in that case. It imposes conditions on Pilchuck before it can pursue that discovery. The court will enter an order in Case No. C11-387 memorializing its decision. ""

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Alturas Indian Rancheria v. California Gambling Control Commission
2011 WL 3890223
No. CIV. S-11-2070 LKK/EFB
United States District Court, E.D. California, Sept. 2, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiff in this case is the Del Rosa faction of the Alturas Indian Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian Tribe. Plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction to prohibit defendant California Gambling Control Commission from releasing funds held in trust for the Tribe to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is attempting to collect the funds pursuant to two Notices of Levy it issued to the defendant on June 27, 2011 and July 8, 2011 respectively."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

August

Winnemucca Indian Colony v. United States
2011 WL 3893905
No. 3:11-cv-00622-RCJ-VPC
United States District Court, D. Nevada, Aug. 31, 2011

*Synopsis: Native– American colony brought action against United States, Department of the Interior, and Board of Indian Affairs (BIA) and its regional agency, seeking declaration as to identity of legitimate colonial officials and injunctive relief preventing BIA from interfering with contractors hired by purported colonial council chairman to perform work within colony. After court granted temporary restraining order (TRO) in relation to injunction claim, 2011 WL 3893905, colony moved for preliminary injunction and BIA moved to vacate TRO.

*Holdings: The District Court, Robert C. Jones, J., held that colony was entitled to preliminary injunction enjoining BIA from interfering with activities on colonial land by purported chairman or his agents.
Injunction motion granted in part and denied in part, and motion to vacate denied.

Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County v. Stevens
2011 WL 3844113
No. 09–CV–0291S
United States District Court, W.D. New York, Aug. 30, 2011

*Synopsis: Anti-gambling organization brought action challenging the legality of a gambling casino operated by Indian tribe on land it acquired. Organization filed motion for an order compelling production of administrative record documents and authorizing discovery to supplement the administrative record.

*Holdings: The District Court, William M. Skretny, Chief Judge, held that postdecisional memorandum setting forth the reasons for agency's change of position with regard to a decision already made was not protected by the deliberative process privilege and was subject to disclosure.
Motion granted in part and denied in part.

Jicarilla Apache Nation v. United States
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 3796273
No. 02-25L.
United States Court of Federal Claims, August 26, 2011

*Synopsis: In tribal trust case, Jicarilla Apache Nation filed suit against United States, seeking accounting and to recover for monetary loss and damages relating to government's breach of fiduciary duties by failing to pool Nation's trust funds with those of other tribes for investment purposes, and by immediately removing funds from trust fund to cover disbursement check, thereby creating lag between removal of funds and check negotiation during which time no income was earned on funds. Government moved for partial summary judgment on pooling and disbursement lag claims, and Nation cross-moved for partial summary judgment on disbursement lag claim.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Allegra, J., held that:
(1) claims that government violated duty to maximize trust income by prudent investment are within Indian Tucker Act jurisdiction;
(2) pooling claim fell within Indian Tucker Act jurisdiction;
(3) fact issues precluded summary judgment as to pooling claim; but
(4) disbursement lag claim was not within Indian Tucker Act jurisdiction.
Plaintiff's motion denied; defendant's motions denied for one claim and granted for other claim.

Attorney's Process and Investigation Services, Inc. v. Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa
Briefs from Turtletalk
2011 WL 3648551
No. 05-CV-168-LRR
United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, August 19, 2011

*Synopsis: Non–Indian contractor brought action against Indian tribe, seeking declaratory judgment that tribal court lacked jurisdiction in tribe's tort action against contractor and an order compelling arbitration. Contractor moved for a preliminary injunction against further proceedings in tribal court. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Linda R. Reade, Chief Judge, denied contractor's motion for summary judgment and granted tribe's motion to dismiss, and contractor appealed. The Court of Appeals, Murphy, Circuit Judge, 609 F.3d 927, affirmed in part and reversed in part. The United States Supreme Court, ––– U.S. ––––, 131 S.Ct. 1003, 178 L.Ed.2d 827, denied certiorari.

*Holdings: On remand, the District Court, Linda R. Reade, Chief Judge, held that:
(1) contractor had consensual relationship with tribal member, but
(2) specific conduct tribe sought to regulate did not occur on tribal lands.
Contractor's motion granted and tribe's motion denied.

Colombe v. Rosebud Sioux Tribe
2011 WL 3654412
No. CIV 11-3002-RAL.
United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Central Division, August 17, 2011

*Synopsis: Casino management company's principal brought action seeking review of tribal court decision regarding casino management contract dispute and injunction prohibiting tribe from continuing tribal court action to pierce corporate veil. Tribe moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, Roberto A. Lange, J., held that:
(1) action fell within scope of court's federal question jurisdiction;
(2) tribe waived its sovereign immunity in parties' contract;
(3) company exhausted its tribal court remedies as to limited issue of tribal court's jurisdiction to find illegal modification of contract; but
(4) court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over principal's other claims.

Motion granted in part and denied in part

Alturas Indian Rancheria v. California Gambling Control Commission
2011 WL 3503142
No. CIV. S–11–2070 LKK/EFB
United States District Court, E.D. California., August 10, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiff in this case is the Del Rosa faction of the Alturas Indian Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian Tribe. Plaintiff has filed an ex parte application for a Temporary Restraining Order that would enjoin defendant California Gambling Control Commission from releasing funds held in trust for the Tribe to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is attempting to collect the funds pursuant to a “Notice of Levy,” which plaintiff became aware of on or about July 20, 2011."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Lummi Tribe v. Unites States
2011 WL 3417092
No. 08-848C.
United States Court of Federal Claims, August 4, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribes and tribal housing authorities brought lawsuit alleging that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) acted improperly in calculating and seeking repayment of grant funds paid to the tribes pursuant to the Native American Housing Assistance and Self–Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA), thus depriving them of funding to which they were entitled. HUD moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The United States Court of Federal Claims, Wiese, J., held that:
(1) Court lacked jurisdiction over claim of one tribe;
(2) mandatory language of NAHASDA was sufficient to confer jurisdiction on Court of Federal Claims;
(3) Court had jurisdiction to determine validity of regulation pursuant to which HUD sought repayment of grant funds; and
(4) Court lacked jurisdiction over claims that accrued more than six years prior to filing of tribes' action.
Motion granted in part and denied in part.

Different Horse v. Salazar
2011 WL 3422842
No. CIV 09-4049.
United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division, August 4, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This Complaint arises from the extensive litigation between the Sioux Nation and the United States regarding the payment for land taken by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and the unlawful taking of the Black Hills and hunting rights to other lands by legislation enacted in 1877..... Plaintiffs wish to receive their portion ofthe funds for the wrongful taking ofthe Black Hills and the lands ceded by the Treaty ofLaramie of 1868. Plaintiffs have a position contrary to that of their tribal governing bodies. That difference of position is an internal tribal matter into which the federal courts cannot intrude. The fact that this is an internal tribal matter not subject to federal court intervention is another recognition oftribal sovereignty. If a tribe changes its position, that is for the tribe to decide...”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Related News Story: Tribal leader agrees with dismissal of Hills lawsuit (Rapid City Journal) 08/10/11

Defenders of Wildlife v. Hall
807 F.Supp.2d 972
No. CV 08–14–M–DWM
United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division., Aug. 3, 2011

*Synopsis: Environmental organizations brought action challenging designation of wolves of northern Rocky Mountains as nonessential experimental species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Cross-motions for summary judgment were filed, and defendants moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, Donald W. Molloy, J., held that:
(1) environmental organizations had standing under Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to challenge content of regulation;
(2) environmental organizations had standing to bring NEPA challenge to regulation;
(3) environmental organizations' NEPA challenge to regulations governing management of wolves on Indian reservation was not moot;
(4) Fish and Wildlife Service did not act arbitrarily or capriciously under NEPA by failing to account for effects from hypothetical changes to states' or tribes' ungulate management objectives; and
(5) Fish and Wildlife Service did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in violation of NEPA when it decided not to prepare an environmental impact statement.
Defendants' motion granted in part and denied in part; Plaintiffs' motion denied.

 

July

Morrison v. Viejas Enterprises
2011 WL 3203107
No. 11cv97 WQH (BGS)
United States District Court, S.D. California, July 26, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Plaintiff has asserted a claim for violation of the Family Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., and a California tort claim for wrongful adverse action and termination in violation of the public policies of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the California Family Rights Act, and the Federal Family Medical Leave Act. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages, an injunction that Defendants refrain from “unlawful practices, policies, usages and customs,” and reinstatement to the “position from which [Plaintiff] was wrongfully terminated or a comparable position ....”

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa v. United States
2011 WL 2601840
Civil No. 10-3801 (DWF/LIB).
United States District. D. Minnesota, July 1, 2011.

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiff Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa (“Sandy Lake Band” or “Band”) describes itself as “a federally recognized Indian tribe that has never been lawfully terminated by an Act of Congress.” (Compl.¶ 4.) Between 1825 and 1867, the United States entered into ten (10) treaties that included the Sandy Lake Band. ( Id. ¶¶ 6–20.) In addition to those treaties, in 1915 President Woodrow Wilson issued Executive Order No. 2144, which created the Sandy Lake Reservation “for the use and occupancy of a band of Chippewa Indians, now living thereon, and for such other Indians as the Secretary of the Interior may see fit to settle thereon.” ( Id. ¶ 29, Ex. 22.) Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on June 2, 2011, the day before the hearing before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. As acknowledged by Plaintiff during the June 3, 2011 hearing, the Amended Complaint was not filed within the time limit permitted for amending as a matter of course under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(a)(1). Plaintiff was therefore required to either obtain the opposing parties' written consent or leave of the Court before filing. Plaintiff did not do so, and therefore the original Complaint remains the operative complaint in this action."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Quitiquit v. Robinson Rancheria Citizens Business Council
2011 WL 2607172
No. C 11-0983 PJH.
United States District. N.D. California, July 1, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Petitioners filed the present action on March 3, 2011, asserting that their evictions and effective “banishment” violated the Indian Civil Rights Act (“ICRA”), 25 U.S.C. § 1302. Petitioners seek an order prohibiting respondents from evicting them from their homes for non-payment of rent."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

June

Tohono O'odham Nation v. City of Glendale
This case was appealed to the Court of Appeals. See briefs.
2011 WL 2650205
No. CV-11-279-PHX-DGC.
United States District. D. Arizona, June 30, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "The Tohono O'odham Nation purchased unincorporated land surrounded by the City of Glendale, asked the Department of the Interior to take the land into trust, and announced plans to construct and operate a major casino on the property. In response, the Arizona Legislature passed House Bill 2534 on February 1, 2011. The bill authorizes cities and towns within Arizona's three largest counties, which would include the City of Glendale, to use an expedited procedure to annex land surrounded or nearly surrounded by the city or town if the owner of the land has asked the federal government to take ownership of the land or to take the land into trust. In this lawsuit, the Nation asks the Court to declare H.B. 2534 invalid and enjoin Glendale from using it to annex the Nation's land. The parties have filed and briefed motions for summary judgment. Docs. 23, 28, 30, 31, 32. The Court heard oral arguments on June 17, 2011. Docs. 33, 35. For reasons that follow, the Court holds that H.B. 2534 is preempted by federal law."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Related News Stories: Court rules for Tohono O'odham on annexation (The Glendale Star) 07/06/11

United States v. Lacy
2011 WL 2604770
No. 2:09-CR-45 TS.
United States District. D. Utah, June 30, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Defendant is charged with the violation of three different statutes: 16 U.S.C. § 470ee (Archeological Resource Protection Act or “ARPA”); 18 U.S.C. § 1170(b) (Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act or “NAGPRA”); and 18 U.S.C. § 641 (Theft of Government Property). At issue in this Motion are the charges against Defendant under ARPA and NAGPRA."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe v. South Dakota
2011 WL 2551379
No. CIV. 07-4040.
United States District. D. South Dakota, June 27, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "The Tribe brought this action for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the State has violated various provisions of the IGRA by failing to negotiate in good faith with the Tribe for purposes of entering into a Tribal–State compact for conducting class III gaming on the Tribe's reservation. "

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Grand Canyon Skywalk Development v. Vaughn
2011 WL 2491425
No. CV11-8048-PCT-DGC.
United States District. D. Arizona, June 23, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiff entered into a formal revenue-sharing agreement with 'Sa' Nyu Wa ("SNW"), a corporation wholly owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe, for the planning, construction, and operation of a glass skywalk and related facilities on the edge of the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai reservation. Doc. 1 at 2. Defendants passed an ordinance that would, according to Plaintiff, allow the Tribe to condemn Plaintiff's contract rights in the skywalk. Fearing that its rights would be condemned by the Tribe, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit to challenge the validity of the tribal ordinance. Doc. 26 at 8. Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that the Tribe lacks the power to condemn Plaintiff's contract rights under the ordinance."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Related News Stories: Judge rules Skywalk partner must go to Hualapai Tribe's court (Indianz.com) 06/24/11

Otter Tail Power Company v. Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Briefs from Turtle Talk Blog
2011 WL 2490820
Civil No. 11-1070 (DWF/LIB).
United States District. D. Minnesota, June 22, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This matter is before the Court on a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Immediate Preliminary Injunctive Relief brought by Plaintiffs (the "Utilities"). The Utilities seek a declaration that Defendants Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, its Reservation Business Committee, and Reservation Business Committee Members Arthur "Archie" LaRose, Eugene "Ribs" Whitebird, Robbie Howe-Bebeau and Steve White (collectively, the "Tribe") lack the authority to regulate or prohibit the Utilities' high-voltage transmission line construction project from Bemidji to Grand Rapids, Minnesota (the "Project"), and therefore that the Utilities are not required to obtain the Tribe's consent to proceed with the Project. For the reasons set forth below, the Utilities' motion is granted."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Cobell v. Salazar
2011 WL 7719672
Civ. No. 96–1285 (TFH)
United States District Court, D. Columbia, June 15, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Pending before the Court is the Motion for Leave to File Corrected Objections Concerning Proposed Settlement on Behalf of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma (O–GAH–PAH) and Tribal Members [Dkt. # 3808] (the "Motion to File" ) and Motion of Quapaw Tribal Members to Opt Out of Proposed Settlement Agreement (the "Opt Out Motion" ). After carefully considering the motions and the entire record of this case the Court DENIES the motions for the reasons stated below.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Colmar v. Jackson Band of Miwuk Indians
2011 WL 2456628
No. CIV S-09-0742 DAD.
United States District. E.D. California, June 15, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This matter came before the court on June 3, 2011, for hearing of defendant's motion for reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1) and defendant's second motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). The parties have previously consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. s 636(c). Attorney John Bridges appeared on behalf of plaintiff Steven Colmar and attorney Jill Peterson appeared on behalf of defendant the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians. Oral argument was heard and defendant's motions were taken under submission. For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion for reconsideration will be granted in part, and defendant's second motion to dismiss will be granted. DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION On March 17, 2009, plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that the defendant unlawfully discriminated against him based on his age in violation of 29 U.S.C. ss 621-634. On May 22, 2009, defendant filed its first motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). On March 31, 2011, the court issued an order denying defendant's first motion to dismiss.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Arizona v. Tohono O'odham Nation
2011 WL 2357833
No. CV11-0296-PHX-DGC.
United States District. D. Arizona, June 15, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This lawsuit concerns plans by Defendant Tohono O‘odham Nation (“the Nation”) to construct and operate a major casino on unincorporated land within the outer boundaries of the City of Glendale, Arizona. The State of Arizona, the Gila River Indian Community, and the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community have sued to enjoin the casino, arguing that it would violate the compact between the State and the Nation as well as promises made by the Nation during negotiation of and public voting on the compact."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

City of Yreka v. Salazar
2011 WL 2433660
Civ. No. S-10-0845 JAM GGH PS
United States District. E.D. California, June 14, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "Plaintiffs City of Yreka and City Council of the City of Yreka brought this action pursuant 1 to the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. ss 701-706, against defendants Ken Salazar, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior; Larry Echohawk, in his official capacity as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior; the Bureau of Indian Affairs; Dale Morris, in his official capacity as the Pacific Regional Director of the BIA; and Michael Mallory, in his official capacity as Siskiyou County Assessor-Recorder, arising from the Secretary's decision to acquire approximately 0.90 acres of land to be held in trust by the United States for the Karuk Tribe of California. The Secretary decided to acquire the land pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. ss 461-79, and its implementing regulations. Plaintiffs have filed a motion for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication, and defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Fred v. Washoe Tribe of Nevada
2011 WL 2364953
Civ. No. S-10-0845 JAM GGH PS
United States District. E.D. California, June 9, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Plaintiff is proceeding pro se in this action, which was referred to the undersigned pursuant to Local Rule 302(c)(21). As a grandparent of two children associated with the Washoe Tribe, plaintiff seeks custody of her grandchildren despite the previous action of the Washoe Tribal Court and the Inter-Tribal Court of Appeal of Nevada. Presently pending is defendant's motion to dismiss this action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, for failure to exhaust tribal court remedies and for sovereign immunity.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Pine Bar Ranch LLC v. Acting Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional Office
2011 WL 2268480
No. CV 10-88-BLG-RFC.
United States District. D. Montana, June 7, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Plaintiffs present claims under the Declaratory Judgment Act (28 U.S.C. s 2201) and the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. s 704) seeking a legal determination that an unpaved portion of Surrell Creek Road located on the Wind River Indian Reservation is a "public road." Defendants challenge Plaintiffs' motion on several grounds. Primarily, Defendants contend that Plaintiffs' claims are procedurally barred by sovereign immunity.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Bernard v. United States Department of the Interior
2011 WL 2160930
No. CIV 08– 1019
United States District. D. South Dakota, Northern Division, June 1, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "This action, in the final analysis, has been an appeal from final agency action taken by the Board of Indian Appeals ("Board" or "IBIA"), the Board being authorized to deal with such matters by the Secretary of the Interior. The Board affirmed on October 16, 2007, a decision made by the Great Plains Area Regional Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA") on February 3, 2005."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

 

May

Allman v. Creek Casino Wetumpka
2011 WL 2313706
Civil Action No. 2:11CV24-WKW
United States District. M.D. Alabama, May 23, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Plaintiff Delbert Allman has filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis in this action. It is ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED. However, upon its review of the complaint, the court concludes that dismissal of this action is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. s 1915(e)(2)(B). Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, brings claims against the Creek Casino in Wetumpka, Alabama (also designated in the complaint as the Riverside Entertainment Center) and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians ("the Tribe"). He contends that the defendants violated his constitutional rights by barring him from the casino.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California v. Salazar
2011 WL 1883196
No. . 5:10-cv-1605 JF/PVT
United States District. N.D. California, May 17, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Plaintiffs bring the instant action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 551, et seq., and 701, et seq., seeking a writ of mandamus compelling Defendants to recognize what Plaintiffs claim is the duly authorized government of the Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians. Defendants move to dismiss the action for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, contending that Plaintiffs have not challenged “final agency action” as that term is used in the APA. Proposed intervenors, who also claim to represent the Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians, move to intervene in the action and for sanctions against Plaintiffs.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation v. US Dept. of the Interior
2011 WL 1743656
No. 4:10-CV-004-BLW.
United States District of Idaho, May 3, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) In the 1940s, Simplot and FMC corporation built phosphate processing facilities about two miles northwest of the City of Pocatello. The Simplot plant is known as the Don plant. Both plants produced phosphogypsum, a solid waste by-product of the manufacturing process. The phosphogypsum is primarily gypsum and phosphorus, and includes contaminates such as arsenic, low-level radionuclides, selenium, zinc, cadmium, vanadium, fluoride, sodium, potassium, chloride, nitrates, ammonia, and sulfate. AR 335-36. This phosphogypsum waste from the Simplot plant is pumped as a slurry into a "gyp-stack," a storage facility 240 feet tall that spreads out over 400 acres. By 2007, it contained 66 million tons of phosphogypsum waste. The Simplot gyp-stack is not lined, and the slurry of phosphogypsum has leached over the years into the groundwater. AR 1391. The groundwater moves generally north-northeast under the gyp-stack, and discharges to springs and to the Portneuf River. The Portneuf River flows past the Simplot plant and onto the Fort Hall Indian Reservation through an area known as "the Bottoms" where a majority of Shoshone-Bannock traditional and ceremonial activities occur, including fishing and gathering of native plants.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Muscogee Nation Division of Housing v. United States Dep't. of Housing and Urban Development Briefs from Turtle Talk Blog
2011 WL 1656039
No. 10-cv-193 JHP.
United States District Court, E.D. of Oklahoma, May 2, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe brought action against Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Administrative Procedure Act (APA), challenging limitation of investment of grant money awarded under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self–Determination Act (NAHASDA) to a period of no longer than two years. HUD moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, James H. Payne, J., held that: (1) APA did not provide waiver to immunity from suit; (2) Ex Parte Young doctrine did not provide waiver of sovereign immunity; and (3) Indian tribe's allegations failed to state claim against HUD. Motion granted.

April

Fife v. Moore
2011 WL 1533147
No. CIV-11-133-RAW
United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma, April 22, 2011

*Synopsis: Defendants charged with theft-related crimes in tribal court filed emergency motion for temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction to enjoin their trials in tribal court. "

*Holdings: The District Court, Ronald A. White, J., held that:
(1) defendants were entitled to injunctive relief, and
(2) tribal court lacked jurisdiction over defendants' prosecutions.
Emergency motion granted.

Pablo v. United States
98 Fed.Cl. 376
No. 10-427C.
United States Court of Federal Claims, April 21, 2011

*Synopsis: Mother of young Indian girl brought action against government seeking damages under Fort Sumner Treaty for various injuries stemming the sexual abuse of the girl by a police officer. Government has moved for summary judgment.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Firestone, J., held that alleged injuries to young Indian girl did not give rise to a claim for compensation under the "bad men" clause of Fort Sumner Treaty, where girl's permanent residence was outside the boundaries of the Navajo Reservation recognized by the Fort Sumner Treaty and where the girl was attacked outside the boundaries of the Navajo Reservation recognized by the treaty.

Scanlon v. Greenberg Traurig, LLP
778 F.Supp.2d 56
Misc. No. 11-138 (RCL)
United States District Court, District of Columbia, April 20, 2011

*Synopsis: Defendant, who was convicted of defrauding law firm's Indian tribe clients of over $20 million, moved to determine availability of objections to order requiring him to reimburse law firm for amount of restitution it paid victims under Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA).

*Holdings: The District Court, Royce C. Lamberth, Chief Judge, held that:
(1) defendant's motion was timely, and
(2) as a matter of apparent first impression, defendant had no right to evidentiary hearing challenging order requiring him to reimburse law firm for amount of restitution it paid victims on grounds that firm was not "victim" within meaning of MVRA.
Motion denied.

Merit Management Group v. Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
778 F.Supp.2d 916
No. 08 C 825.
United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, April 19, 2011

*Synopsis: Plaintiff filed breach of contract action against Indian tribe, alleging that tribe failed to repay money loaned to it. Following entry of default judgment for plaintiff, and filing of an enforcement action, tribe moved to vacate.

*Holdings: The District Court, Elaine E. Bucklo, J., held that purported "exclusivity agreement," signed by tribe in connection with loan transaction, was not a waiver of tribe's sovereign immunity.
Motion granted, and dismissed.

Lewis v. Salazar
2011 WL 1532410
No. 1:10-cv-01281-OWW-DLB.
United States District Court, E.D. of California, April 20, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) On or about March 28, 1983, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California [in an action entitled Table Mountain Rancheria Association et al. v. James Watt et al. Case No. C-80-4595 MHP] entered a stipulated judgment which re-instated the plaintiffs who had not participated in the 1958 distribution as Indians under the laws of the United States prior to the 1958 CRTA and who were entitled to the benefits which they enjoyed prior to 1958. The district court ordered the Secretary of the Interior to prepare and provide to Plaintiffs a list of federal services, benefits, and programs and the eligibility criteria which were available to Indians because of their status as Indians between May 2, 1973 and June 25, 1975. The Secretary did not comply. Plaintiffs contend the Secretary's failure to comply with the Watt Judgment has caused Plaintiffs to expend great sums of their own funds to gain access to services, benefits and programs which the Secretary failed to provide to them. In many cases, because of the lack of funds, many Distributees were deprived of an education, adequate housing, prompt and adequate medical services. Plaintiffs were and are still being deprived of the federal services, benefits, and programs including but not limited to education, medical care and services, vocational training and services, housing services, repatriation of "remains," observation of rituals and income from the land.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin v. Village of Hobart
2011 WL 1467622
No. 10-C-137.
United States District. E.D. Wisconsin, April 18, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe brought action seeks declaratory and injunctive relief precluding village from assessing utility fee for land in village owned by United States and held in trust for tribe. Village filed third party complaint against United States alleging that Clean Water Act required United States to pay village's storm water fees to extent tribe was not liable for fees. United States moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, William C. Griesbach, J., held that:
(1) tribe's decision was not subject to judicial review under Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and
(2) Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regional director's issuance of opinion regarding matter was not final agency action.
Motion granted.

Wells Fargo Bank v. Sokaogon Chippewa Community
Briefs from Turtle Talk Blog
2011 WL 1457125
No. 10–C–1039.
United States District Court, E.D. of Wisconsin, April 15, 2011

*Synopsis: During pendency of Indian tribe's motion to dismiss lawsuit that had been brought against it in Wisconsin state court, arising out of the alleged default, by the Tribe and its casino, of their obligations to repay loan, the trustee for the bondholders brought action seeking, inter alia, declaratory judgment that defendants had effectively waived their sovereign immunity to suit and that the loan indenture was not a management contract within the meaning of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Tribe moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, William C. Griesbach, J., held that:
(1) Court had federal question jurisdiction;
(2) tribe was judicially estopped from arguing that District Court should abstain pursuant to the Wilton/Brillhart doctrine;
(3) loan indenture and related documents did not constitute a management contract within meaning of IGRA; and
(4) failure to obtain approval of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior for loan indenture did not render it void as an unapproved encumbrance on Indian lands.
Motion denied.

Manoukian v. Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.
2011 WL 1343009
No. 11cv503-L(JMA).
United States District Court, S.D. of California, April 7, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) On March 11, 2011 Defendants filed a notice of removal, removing from State court this slip and fall action by a casino patron against the casino and other defendants. The notice of removal is based on diversity jurisdiction and, alternatively, federal preemption, and 28 U.S.C. Section 1441. "Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only that power authorized by Constitution or a statute, which is not to be expanded by judicial decree. It is to be presumed that a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Smith v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Briefs from Turtle Talk Blog
2011 WL 1314679
Nos. 11580-08, 11607-08, 11614-08, 11909-08.
United States Tax Court, April 6, 2011

*Synopsis: In consolidated cases, three members of Native–American tribal council members petitioned for redetermination of income tax deficiencies arising from issues of how much of members' compensation from various tribal activities was “income” and whether members were entitled to deduct certain business expenses.

*Holdings: The Tax Court, Morrison, J., held that:
(1) compensation members received from tribe's fishing rights–related activities was not exempt from tax in its entirety;
(2) members suffered prejudice from IRS belatedly raising issue of self–employment tax liability stemming from tribal–council compensation; and
(3) whatever reliance members placed on advice of tribe's attorney did not constitute reasonable cause for failing to timely file returns.
Decision for IRS in part and for taxpayers in part.

March

Fletcher v. United States
2011 WL 1326045
No. 02-CV-427-GKF-FHM.
United States District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma, March 31, 2011

*Synopsis: (fr)om the opinion) This matter comes before the court on the Motion to Dismiss of defendant Ben T. Benedum. Benedum contends the plaintiffs' Third Amended Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Benedum is one of approximately 1,700 individuals named as defendants in the Third Amended Complaint... The plaintiffs in this case are Osage Indians and are descendants of individuals listed on the tribal rolls at the time of the Osage Allotment Act. Plaintiffs assert three claims for relief in their Third Amended Complaint. First, they allege that the United States, the Department of the Interior, the Secretary of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs have breached their trust obligations by improperly distributing trust assets in violation of the 1906 Act, and by failing to account to the plaintiffs for all funds held in trust, including the headright payments. Second, plaintiffs allege the Federal Defendants' failure to properly manage the trust assets constitutes a deprivation of plaintiffs' property in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Third, the plaintiffs allege the Federal Defendants took administrative actions not in accordance with the law by making headright payments to improper persons in violation of the law and by refusing to provide plaintiffs with an accounting... The 1,700 Individual Defendants, including Benedum, were added after the Federal Defendants persuaded the court that the non-Osage headright owners were required parties to this action.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

South Dakota v. United States Department of the Interior
2011 WL 1303022
No. CIV 10-3006-RAL.
United States District Court, District of South Dakota, March 31, 2011

*Synopsis: State, county and city brought action against Department of the Interior (DOI), Indian tribe, and individual Government officials, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from DOI's decision to take land into trust for Indian tribe. Defendants moved to dismiss or for summary judgment, and plaintiffs cross-moved for summary judgment.

*Holdings: The District Court, Roberto A. Lange, J., held that:
(1) statute authorizing DOI to acquire trust land for Indian tribes was not an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority;
(2) acceptance of parcel into trust met aims of statute;
(3) failure to provide plaintiffs with documents resulted in a due process violation; and
(4) allegations failed to demonstrate that Regional Director (RD) was biased.
Motions granted in part and denied in part.

County of Charles Mix v. United States Department of the Interior
2011 WL 1303125
No. CIV 10-3012-RAL.
United States District Court, District of South Dakota, March 31, 2011

*Synopsis: County brought action, under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from decision of the Department of the Interior (DOI) to take 39 acres of land into trust for Indian tribe. Defendants moved to dismiss or for summary judgment, and County cross-moved for summary judgment.

*Holdings: The District Court, Roberto A. Lange, J., held that:
(1) statute providing DOI with authority to acquire trust land for Indian tribe was not an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power;
(2) statute did not have effect of depriving County of a republican form of government;
(3) statute did not violate Fifth Amendment rights of non-Indians;
(4) acceptance of the land into trust met statutory aims; and
(5) Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in deciding to take the land into trust.
Defendants' motion granted and County's motion denied.

Contour Spa at the Hard Rock, Inc. v. Seminole Tribe of Florida
2011 WL 1303163
No. 10-60483-CIV.
United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, March 31, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) This matter is before the Court upon the Motion Of Defendant, Seminole Tribe Of Florida, To Dismiss As To Amended Complaint, and upon the Motion Of Defendant, Mitchell Cypress, To Dismiss As To Amended Complaint. The Court has carefully reviewed said Motions, the entire court file and is otherwise fully advised in the premises. This cause of action arises out of a contractual dispute between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Contour Spa At The Hard Rock, Inc., a spa facility located inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood. After leasing its premises to the Spa for over six years, the Tribe declared the lease void and locked out the Spa Owner and employees. Plaintiff then brought suit in state court, and Defendant Seminole Tribe of Florida removed to federal court.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Evans v. Salazar
2011 WL 1219228
No. C08-0372-JCC.
United States District Court, Western District of Washington, March 31, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) This case arises out of a decision by the Department of Interior to deny an Indian group's petition to become a federally acknowledged tribe. Plaintiffs--the Snohomish Tribe of Indians and its chairman Michael C. Evans--claim to be the successor to the historical Snohomish tribe from the Puget Sound region of Western Washington. In 1855, the Snohomish tribe signed the Treaty of Point Elliott, which established the Tulalip reservation. Over the next several years, a substantial portion of the Snohomish tribe moved onto the Tulalip reservation, and although other tribes moved there as well, the Snohomish remained the largest group. Plaintiffs' members are descendants of Indian women who married white settlers during this period, but Plaintiffs' ancestors never moved onto the reservation. In 1926, a group consisting of both on- and off-reservation Snohomish created an organization that pursued treaty claims on behalf of Snohomish descendants. Many of Plaintiffs' ancestors belonged to this organization, which remained active until at least 1935. That same year, the various tribes residing at Tulalip, including the Snohomish, elected to reorganize under a single tribal government. The resulting entity, known as the "Tulalip Tribes," has since been federally acknowledged but has never included any of Plaintiffs' ancestors. Plaintiffs characterize the 1935 Tulalip Reorganization as having caused a "rift" between the onreservation and off-reservation Snohomish. They insist that the 1926 organization was the official governing body of the Snohomish tribe and that its off-reservation members--including Plaintiffs' ancestors--continued to conduct tribal affairs after the on-reservation members "defected" to the Tulalip Tribes. Plaintiffs formally incorporated in 1950, creating the entity that continues to the present, though they describe this event as simply a "reorganization" of the 1926 organization. Plaintiffs, in effect, argue that they represent the "true" Snohomish tribe.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Alvarez v. Tracey
2011 WL 1211549
No. CV-08-2226-PHX-DGC (DKD).
United States District Court, District of Arizona March 31, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Petitioner was convicted and sentenced by the Gila River Indian Community Court in four separate criminal cases. The motion for partial summary judgment relates to Petitioner's sentences in case CR 2003-543, where he "was convicted of two counts of assault, two counts of domestic violence, and one count of mischief involving weapons." The criminal charges in the case arose from Petitioner's actions on April 12, 2003, when he "assaulted his girlfriend[, E.C.,] and her brother, [J.C.,] both of whom were minors." Petitioner asserts that his striking of E.C. twice on the head with a flashlight was charged as separate counts of Assault and Domestic Violence, that his "pulling a knife" on E.C. was charged as separate counts of Domestic Violence and Misconduct Involving Weapons, and that his striking of J.C. with a flashlight after J.C. began chasing Petitioner outside was charged as a separate count of Assault. Petitioner was convicted of each of the five charges and sentenced to five years' detention.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Richard v. United States
2011 WL 1227777
No. 10-503 C.
United States Court of Federal Claims March 31, 2011

*Synopsis: Estates of members of Sioux Tribe, who were struck and killed by a vehicle driven by an intoxicated non-Indian while they were walking along a highway within an Indian reservation, sought money damages from government stemming from the deaths under the “bad men” clause of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Government moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: In resolving issue of first impression, The Court of Federal Claims, Sweeney, J., held that driver was not “subject to the authority of the United States” within meaning of “bad men” clause of treaty, and therefore court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the claims. Motion granted.

Quechan tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation v. United States
2011 WL 1211574
No. CIV 10-02261-PHX-FJM.
United States District Court, District of Arizona March 31, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) This is an action brought by the Quechan Indian Tribe against the United States seeking a declaration that the United States has a duty to operate its medical facilities and practices at a level that meets or exceeds a minimum generally accepted standard of care, and that the United States has breached that duty. Plaintiff also seeks equitable relief requiring defendants to ensure its medical services at the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation do not fall below the minimum standard of care. Defendants move to dismiss plaintiff's First Amended Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), Fed.R.Civ.P. and for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), Fed.R.Civ.P.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Neighbors of Casino San Pablo v. Salazar
2011 WL 1238720
No. 09-2384 (RJL). .
United States District Court, District of Columbia March 30, 2011

*Synopsis: Neighbors of Indian tribe-operated casino brought action against various officials in the United States Department of the Interior, as well as the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), alleging that the NIGC failed its statutory evaluation and enforcement duties with respect to the casino, and that the NIGC acted arbitrarily and capriciously in the determinations it did make about the tribe's gaming. Defendants filed motion to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, Richard J. Leon, J., held that:
(1) Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) did not require NIGC to perform an independent "Indian lands" determination in conjunction with the tribe's submission of non-site-specific gaming ordinances;
(2) NIGC's discretion as to whether to enforce conduct that was allegedly unlawful under IGRA was not subject to judicial review; and
(3) plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge non-final NIGC actions.
Motion granted.

Reber v. Payne
2011 WL 1226043
No. 2:08-CV-50 TS.
United States District Court, District of Utah March 29, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) A jury convicted Petitioner of one count of aiding and assisting in the wanton destruction of wildlife, a third-degree felony under Utah Code s 23-20- 4(3)(a), for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. The sentence was stayed conditioned on him paying a fine and restitution. He apparently never served prison time and his probation has since ended. The conviction was overturned by the Utah Court of Appeals. But then, the Utah Supreme Court reversed that decision and reinstated Petitioner's conviction.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Round Valley Indian Tribes v. United States
97 Fed.Cl. 500
No. 06-900L.
United States Court of Federal Claims, March 23, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribes, alleging that the United States Government violated its trust duty to them with regard to its management of the tribes' trust funds, brought action for an accounting and monetary damages. Government moved for partial summary judgment.

*Holdings: The District Court, Braden, J., held that:
(1) doctrine of claim preclusion did not bar tribes' action;
(2) stipulation and final judgment in prior case did not waive claim; and
(3) jurisdictional provision of Indian Claims Commission Act (ICCA) did not bar tribes from having their claims adjudicated in the Court of Federal Claims.
Motion denied.

Crosby Lodge v. NIGC
Briefs from Turtle Talk Blog
2011 WL 888242
No. 3:06-CV-00657-LRH-RAM.
United States District Court, District of Nevada, March 14, 2011

*Synopsis: Operator of business on Indian reservation, including licensed gaming activity, brought action against National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), challenging adoption and enforcement of regulation, promulgated under Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), that required tribes that licensed individually–owned gaming operations to mandate by tribal ordinance "that not less than 60 percent of the net revenues be income to the Tribe." Parties moved and cross–moved for summary judgment.

*Holdings: The District Court, Larry R. Hicks, J., held that:
(1) Congress's intent concerning IGRA was ambiguous, and
(2) NIGC's interpretation of IGRA in promulgating regulation was reasonable.
Operator's motion denied and NIGC's motion granted.

Gila River Indian Community v. United States
Court of Appeals Briefs at 9th Circuit on Turtle Talk Blog
2011 WL 826282
Nos. CV-10-1993-PHX-DGC, CV-10-2017-PHX-DGC, CV-10-2138-PHX-DGC.
United States District Court, District of Arizona, March 3, 2011

*Synopsis: City and Indian tribe brought actions challenging Department of Interior's (DOI) decision to accept property in trust for benefit of another tribe. State legislative and executive branch leaders intervened as parties plaintiff, and other tribe intervened as party defendant. Parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment.

*Holdings: The District Court, David G. Campbell, J., held that:
(1) city and tribe had standing to challenge DOI's decision;
(2) tribe waived claim that other tribe's acquisition of private lands exceeded amount permitted by Gila Bend Act;
(3) DOI's determination that unincorporated land surrounded by municipality could be accepted in trust for tribe was entitled to Chevron deference;
(4) DOI's interpretation of its own regulation was reasonable;
(5) gaming determination pursuant to Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) was not prerequisite to taking land in trust; and
(6) DOI's decision did not violate Tenth Amendment.
Defendants' motion granted.

Ford Motor Credit Company v. Poitra
2011 WL 799746
No. 4:10-CV-042.
United States District Court, District of North Dakota, March 2, 2011

*Synopsis: Lenders brought action against borrower seeking injunctive and declaratory relief barring further proceedings in tribal court. Lenders moved for summary judgment, and borrower moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, Daniel L. Hovland, J., held that:
(1) lender adequately exhausted its tribal remedies, and
(2) tribal court had jurisdiction over lender.
Motions denied.

Timbisha Shoshone Tribe v. Salazar
2011 WL 691366
No. 10-968
United States District Court, District of Columbia, March 1, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe brought action against Departments of the Interior (DOI) and the Treasury (DOT), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from provision of the Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act which directed that funds appropriated for the tribe pursuant to a determination of the Indian Claims Commission (ICC) be distributed directly to individual tribe members rather than to any tribal entity, which the plaintiffs alleged constituted an unconstitutional taking of tribal property and a denial of equal protection. Government moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, Gladys Kessler, J., held that:
(1) allegations, that the Secretary of the Treasury and Department of the Treasury would play a necessary role in administration of the distribution, were insufficient to state a viable claim against the Department and the Secretary;
(2) complaint failed to state a Fifth Amendment Takings Clause claim;
(3) allegation that the allocation of funds violated tribe's equal protection rights failed to state a claim.
Motion granted.

February

Lantry v. Walker River Paiute Tribe Tribal Police
2011 WL 769974
No. 3:06-cv-600-RCJ-VPC.
United States District Court, District of Nevada, February 25, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Currently before the Court are Walker River Paiute Tribe Tribal Police's Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff David Lantry's Motion to Extend Time to File Proposed Pretrial Order, and Defendant's Motion to Extend Time to File Proposed Pretrial Order. The Court heard oral argument on the motions on January 18, 2011... According to the complaint, in April 2004, Plaintiff, a non-tribal member, drove an unregistered agricultural vehicle on Tribal property. The Tribal Police cited him into the Mineral County Justice Court. In May 2004, Plaintiff appeared in court but was told that a judge was unavailable and that he should check back in a week for a new court date. In April 2005, three tribal police officers forcibly removed Plaintiff from his residence located on private property, not subject to tribal authority, and took him into custody. The officers took Plaintiff to the Mineral County Jail where he was booked on a warrant based upon the earlier citation.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Wasson v. Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe
2011 WL 769989
No. 3:10-cv-00123-RCJ.
United States District Court, District of Nevada, February 25, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe members brought action against tribe, tribal officials, employees of United States Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and tribal consultant, alleging tribe violated their due process and equal protection rights by ignoring their petitions and election referendum votes. Tribe moved to dismiss.

*Holdings: The District Court, Robert C. Jones, J., held that:
(1) tribal sovereign immunity barred members' action, and
(2) dismissal of tribe from action necessitated dismissal of entire case against all defendants. Motion granted.

Osage Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma v. United States
97 Fed.Cl. 542
Nos. 99-550 L, 00-169 L.
United States Court of Federal Claims, February 24, 2011

*Synopsis: Native-American tribe sued United States, seeking damages for breach of government's fiduciary duties as trustee of tribe's mineral estate by failure of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to collect, invest, and deposit revenues generated from tribe's oil and gas leases. The Court of Federal Claims, Emily C. Hewitt, Chief Judge, --- Fed.Cl. ----, 2011 WL 477042, granted government's motion for partial reconsideration of its prior order, --- Fed.Cl. ---, 2010 WL 5397226, as to calculating damages, and parties thereby filed statements to explain basis of their disagreement of damages calculation.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Hewitt, Chief Judge, held that damages award of $330,735,185.55 was warranted.
So ordered.

McGuire v. United States
97 Fed.Cl. 425
No. 09-380L.
United States Court of Federal Claims, February 18, 2011

*Synopsis: Farmer who leased tribal land brought inverse condemnation action against government in Bankruptcy Court, alleging that decision of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to remove bridge over canal on leased land was unconstitutional taking. The Bankruptcy Court determined that government had committed regulatory taking. The United States District Court for the District of Arizona, James A. Teilborg, J., rejected Bankruptcy Court's findings and recommendations, and dismissed action. Farmer appealed. The Court of Appeals, Thomas, J., 550 F.3d 903, reversed and remanded for transfer to Court of Federal Claims. Government moved to dismiss and for summary judgment.

*Holdings:The Court of Federal Claims, Futey, J., held that:
(1) regulatory takings case was ripe for adjudication;
(2) genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment on the issue of a partial regulatory taking; and
(3) removal of bridge on leased farm land was not a categorical taking.
Motions denied in part and granted in part.

Alltel Communications, LLC v. DeJordy
2011 WL 672003
No. 4:10CV00130 BSM.
United States District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, February 17, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Viewed in the light most favorable to Alltel, the nonmoving party, the facts are as follows. DeJordy was an attorney employed by Alltel or its predecessors from 1995 through 2007. While working for Western Wireless Corporation, a predecessor to Alltel, DeJordy served as executive director for regulatory affairs and, in that capacity, allegedly negotiated the Tate Woglaka Service Agreement with the Oglala Sioux Tribe, a recognized Native American tribe located in South Dakota. The Agreement set forth the terms and conditions applying to telecommunications services that Western Wireless was to provide to the Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In negotiating the Agreement, DeJordy received confidential information from, and provided confidential legal advice to, Western Wireless. Western Wireless was acquired by Alltel's parent corporation in August 2005, and DeJordy became Alltel's senior vice president for regulatory affairs. On November 2, 2007, DeJordy was terminated for unsatisfactory performance. Alltel alleges that DeJordy was paid $2,039,983 in severance in exchange for entering into a separation agreement that contained a nonsolicitation provision, as well as confidentiality and noncooperation provisions.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Alltel Communications, LLC v. DeJordy
2011 WL 673766
No. CIV. 10-MC-00024.
United States District Court, District of South Dakota, February 17, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) This action is in connection with a lawsuit pending in the Eastern District of Arkansas, 4:10-cv-00130... Viewed in the light most favorable to Alltel, the nonmoving party, the facts are as follows. DeJordy was an attorney employed by Alltel or its predecessors from 1995 through 2007. While working for Western Wireless Corporation, a predecessor to Alltel, DeJordy served as executive director for regulatory affairs and, in that capacity, allegedly negotiated the Tate Woglaka Service Agreement with the Oglala Sioux Tribe, a recognized Native American tribe located in South Dakota. The Agreement set forth the terms and conditions applying to telecommunications services that Western Wireless was to provide to the Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In negotiating the Agreement, DeJordy received confidential information from, and provided confidential legal advice to, Western Wireless. Western Wireless was acquired by Alltel's parent corporation in August 2005, and DeJordy became Alltel's senior vice president for regulatory affairs. On November 2, 2007, DeJordy was terminated for unsatisfactory performance. Alltel alleges that DeJordy was paid $2,039,983 in severance in exchange for entering into a separation agreement that contained a nonsolicitation provision, as well as confidentiality and noncooperation provisions.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Munoz v. McDonald
2011 WL 569889
No. C 09-4941 MHP (pr).
United States District Court, Northern District of California, February 15, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Petitioner filed a pro se action seeking a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. s 2254. Respondent has filed an answer and lodged the record with the court. Petitioner has not filed a traverse. The matter now is before the court for consideration on the merits. For the reasons discussed below, the petition will be denied...Petitioner was convicted in Lake County Superior Court of first degree murder with a criminal street gang special circumstance. The jury also found that he had personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Outboard Marine Corp. v. Listman
2011 WL 666104
No. 3:10-CV-00311-LRH-RAM.
United States District Court, District of Nevada, February 14, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) This matter arises out of a recreational boating accident on Pyramid Lake, located within the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation. Robin Listman, who suffered serious injuries in the accident, filed suit in Nevada state court in August 2003 against several parties, including OMC as the alleged designer and manufacturer of the boat. That state court action, Listman v. Porsow, CV03-05022, remains pending and is proceeding to trial with Listman and OMC as the sole remaining parties.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Klamath Tribe Claims v. United States
97 Fed.Cl. 203
No. 09-75L.
United States Court of Federal Claims, February 11, 2011

*Synopsis: Tribe claims committee brought action alleging that Interior Department failed to disburse funds owed to tribal members and to safeguard treaty-based water rights associated with dam. Department moved to dismiss.

*Holding: The Court of Federal Claims, Allegra, J., held that:
(1) tribes' claim arising from Interior Department's failure to reimburse them pursuant to Klamath Termination Act was untimely;
(2) tribes' claims relating to transfer of dam and its associated water storage were untimely; and
(3) tribes were necessary parties.
Motion granted in part.

Alturas Indian Rancheria v. Salazar
2011 WL 587588
No. CIV. S-10-1997 LKK/EFB.
United States District Court, Eastern District of California, February 9, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Plaintiff, a federally recognized Indian tribe filed its original complaint with this court on July 27, 2010, and an amended complaint on November 8, 2010. In the amended complaint plaintiff alleges three claims against federal officials relating to a contract renewal request submitted by plaintiff to the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act ("ISDA"). Plaintiff also seeks relief against State of California officials for violations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and a Tribal-State Gaming Compact entered into by plaintiffs and the State. Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on its first and second claims for relief, the federal defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's first amended complaint, and the state defendants motion to dismiss the forth claim for relief. Also pending before the court is a motion to intervene, filed by another faction of the Alturas Indian Rancheria on January 11, 2011.

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Osage Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma v. United States
97 Fed.Cl. 345
Nos. 99-550 L, 00-169 L.
United States Court of Federal Claims, February 8, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe brought action alleging that United States breached its fiduciary duty to collect, deposit, and invest revenues generated from oil leases. After entry of order limiting application of information from oil company's database in calculating tribe's damages, 96 Fed.Cl. 390, United States moved for partial reconsideration.

*Holdings: The Court of Federal Claims, Hewitt, Chief Judge, held that United States could use 40-degree prices found in oil company's crude oil database in calculating damages.
Motion granted.

Oenga v. United States
97 Fed.Cl. 80
No. 06-491L.
United States Court of Federal Claims, February 8, 2011

*Synopsis: Owners of Alaska Native allotment brought action against federal government, alleging that government breached its trust obligations in connection with lease allowing oil company possession and use of allotment for oil production-related activities. Company intervened as defendant. Following trial, the Court of Federal Claims, Nancy B. Firestone, J., 2010 WL 5160204, determined that plaintiffs were entitled to damages for government's breach of trust, measured as the fair annual rental for unauthorized uses, as calculated using cost savings methodology presented by plaintiff's expert. Parties submitted their proposed damages calculations and moved for reconsideration, and defendant-intervenors also moved for clarification.

*Holding: The Court of Federal Claims, Nancy B. Firestone, J., held that:
(1) company's alternative cost of building bypass road was appropriate measure of cost savings;
(2) real, rather than nominal, discount rate of seven percent applied when calculating damages;
(3) upper end of company's price range estimate for cost of bypass road alternative was appropriately used in calculating damages;
(4) amortization period of 16 years was appropriate;
(5) only company's past unauthorized use was covered by damages award;
(6) damages would not be offset by amount of rent previously paid by company for authorized use of allotment; and
(7) amount of $4,924,000 was the appropriate damages award.
Ordered accordingly.

*Related News Stories: Judge awards Alaska family $5M (UPI.com) 02/09/11

State of South Dakota v. United States Dept. of the Interior
2011 WL 382744
No. CIV 10-3007-RAL.
United States District Court, District of South Dakota, February 3, 2011

*Synopsis: State, county, school districts, and a city brought suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from the Department of the Interior's decision to take four parcels of land into trust for an Indian tribe. The parties cross-moved for summary judgment.

*Holding:The District Court, Roberto A. Lange, J., held that:
(1) section of the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian tribes was not an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power;
(2) claim that the same IRA section deprived plaintiffs of a republican form of government presented a nonjusticiable political question, and was in any event without merit;
(3) Superintendent of a BIA agency was not biased, so as to violate Due Process;
(4) alleged inherent structural bias of the BIA did not render a decision to take the land into trust a violation of due process; and
(5) BIA's decision to take the four parcels into trust was not arbitrary and capricious.
Defendants' motion granted.

January

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation v. Anderson
2011 WL 8948779
CV–09–0342–EFS.
United States District Court, E. D. Washington, January 26, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) "The parties ask the Court to wrestle with an age-old issue: the struggle between two sovereigns asserting their respective rights to protect the safety and interests of those for whom they are responsible. The state of Washington asserts its right to enforce hunting laws against members of the Colville Indian Tribe (“Tribe”), who are hunting off the reservation but on lands on which tribal members enjoy “in common” treaty-hunting rights. Although numerous appellate and district courts have discussed the interplay between a state's and a tribe's responsibilities as they relate to wildlife conservation to which they enjoy “in common” rights, no appellate court has focused on this interplay as it relates to hunting safety. The Court herein is tasked with the responsibility of setting forth a legal standard with which to assess the State's hunting safety laws, as well as resolving challenging issues relating to Plaintiffs' 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims."

*Holdings: (not yet available)

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe v. State of South Dakota
2011 WL 294450
No. CIV. 07-4040.
United States District Court, District of South Dakota, January 26, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Pending is the State's motion to quash the Tribe's notice to take the deposition of Governor Michael Rounds. The State argues former Governor Rounds is a high ranking government official whose deposition cannot be taken absent extraordinary circumstances. The State also argues that conversations among the former Governor and staff are protected from discovery by the deliberative process privilege. The Tribe argues Governor Rounds is the only source for the particular information they need to prove their case and the deliberative process privilege does not apply.

*Holding: (not yet available)

Sekayumptewa v. Salazar
2011 WL 231460
No. CV 11-8005-PCT-DGC.
United States District Court, District of Arizona, January 24, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Plaintiffs are individual members and villages of the Hopi Tribe.. Plaintiffs have filed a complaint seeking to enjoin a Hopi tribal election ordered by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to 25 U.S.C. s 476 and scheduled to occur on January 27, 2011. The election concerns proposed amendments to the Hopi tribal constitution that would, according to Plaintiffs, alter the traditional village organization and divide First Mesa into three distinct villages. .

*Holding: (not yet available)

Ventura v. Snoqualmie Indian Tribe
2011 WL 219678
No. C11-45RAJ.
United States District Court, Western District of Washington, January 24, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Petitioner Arlene Ventura is a member of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, (the "Tribe") as is her son, Petitioner Kanium Ventura. Both are elected members of the Snoqualmie Tribal Council. Both are also board members of the Snoqualmie Entertainment Authority, the agency with oversight over the Snoqualmie Casino. The Tribal Prosecutor, Cynthia Tomkins, charged Mr. and Ms. Ventura in Tribal Court with crimes arising from the preparation in late 2008 of a Tribal Council resolution authorizing the hiring of the Moss Adams accounting firm to audit the Casino. The criminal charges arise from allegations that the Venturas falsely represented that the Tribal Council had authorized the resolution, and used false statements to induce the Council chair.

*Holding: (not yet available)

Inglish Interests, LLC v. Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc.
2011 WL 208289
No. 2:10-cv-367-FtM-29DNF.
United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, January 21, 2011

*Synopsis: (from the opinion) Plaintiff Inglish Interests, LLC (plaintiff or Inglish) alleges the following facts in the Complaint: Defendant, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. owns a citrus grove located in Glades and Hendry Counties on the Big Cypress and Brighton reservations (the Grove Property). Inglish sought to lease the Grove Property from STOFI in order to harvest the crops and market them for profit. The parties signed a letter of intent (LOI) which memorialized their preliminary agreement regarding an anticipated ten-year property lease. While the parties intended to enter into a formal lease agreement, one was never executed. Instead, the parties operated pursuant to the LOI for approximately fifteen months. The LOI contains eight short paragraphs and makes no mention of tribal sovereign immunity. A dispute ensued, and plaintiff has filed a four-count Complaint alleging state law claims for breach of contract, imposition of a crop lien pursuant to Fla. Stat. s 713.59, a right to emblements, and unjust enrichment.

*Holding: (not yet available)

United States v. Medearis
2011 WL 112018
No. CR 10-30057-RAL..
United States District Court, District of South Dakota, January 13, 2011

*Synopsis: Defendant was indicted in the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota on charges of tampering with evidence. Defendant moved to suppress physical evidence as well as all statements he made to tribal officers and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent.

*Holdings: The District Court, Roberto A. Lange, J., adopted in part and declined in part report and recommendation of Mark Mareno, United States Magistrate Judge, 2010 WL 5576192, and held that: (1) tribal officer with Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) certification was acting as tribal officer, not federal officer, when obtaining and executing search warrants;
(2) good-faith exception to exclusionary rule applied;
(3) defendant's statements were voluntary;
(4) defendant was not in custody, for Miranda purposes, when officers initially questioned him outside his residence;
(5) officers did not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment rights when they entered his residence to freeze situation and secure premises;
(6) defendant was in custody, for Miranda purposes, when officers questioned him inside his kitchen; but
(7) defendant's statements following his release from tribal custody were sufficiently an act of free will to purge primary taint of his prior non- Mirandized statements.
Motion to suppress granted in part and denied in part.

Cryer v. Massachusetts Dept. of Corrections
763 F.Supp.2d 237
No. 1:09-10238-PBS.
United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, January 7, 2011

*Synopsis: Native American inmate brought civil rights action against Massachusetts Department of Correction and officials, challenging denial of access to ceremonial tobacco to be used for religious purposes. Parties cross-moved for summary judgment.

*Holding: The District Court, Saris, J., adopted report and recommendation of Robert B. Collings, United States Magistrate Judge, which held that:
(1) fact issues existed whether correctional anti-smoking policy created substantial burden on inmate's religious practice;
(2) state correctional officials were entitled to qualified immunity on First Amendment claim; and
(3) correctional policy did not contravene state anti-smoking statute.
Motions granted in part and denied in part.

Confederated Tribes of the Coville Reservation v. Anderson
761 F.Supp.2d 1101
No. CV-09-0342-EFS.
United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington, January 3, 2011

*Synopsis: Indian tribe and one of its enrolled members brought § 1983 action challenging State's enforcement of its hunting safety laws against tribe members hunting on off-reservation lands on which tribe members enjoyed “in common” treaty hunting rights. State moved to dismiss, and parties filed cross-motions for partial summary judgment.

*Holding: The District Court, Edward F. Shea, J., held that:
(1) tribe member had standing to bring action;
(2) member was not required to satisfy the favorable-termination rule of Heck v. Humphrey;
(3) tribe could not bring claim under § 1983 as parens patriae; and
(4) State was entitled to enact and enforce laws regulating a tribal member's exercise of an “in common” hunting right for public-safety purposes, so long as the law satisfied certain conditions. Ordered accordingly.

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