Mealey's Native American Law

  • August 05, 2022

    Miccosukee Tribe Sues EPA For Giving CWA Permitting Authority To Florida

    MIAMI — A Florida Native American tribe filed a federal complaint on Aug. 4 challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of having the state issue permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material into certain Florida waters, saying the action weakens the tribe’s sovereignty “by subjecting more than 200,000 acres of Indian lands to the State’s regulatory jurisdiction.”

  • August 05, 2022

    Blue Cross Granted Judgment On False Claim Issue In Tribe’s Health Care Plan Suit

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Michigan federal judge on Aug. 3 granted partial summary judgment to a health care plan administrator on a claim by a Native American tribe that the administrator violated the Michigan Health Care False Claims Act (HCFCA) by making false claims about the rates it pays for health care.

  • August 04, 2022

    9th Circuit Dismisses Appeal Of Judgment In Washington Tribal Water Rights Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 dismissed an appeal of a modified tribal water judgment, finding that objectors cannot claim a redressable injury.

  • August 04, 2022

    Child Sex Abuse Conviction, Indian Country Finding Upheld By 8th Circuit

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 affirmed the conviction and more than seven-year prison sentence for a man found guilty of abusive sexual contact of a minor, finding in part that there was sufficient evidence to establish that the offense of conviction occurred on Indian land.

  • August 03, 2022

    Judge Bars Idaho Tribe From Shutting Down Lumber Mill Over Lease Dispute

    COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — An Idaho federal judge issued a preliminary injunction July 28 to prevent a Native American tribe from ending a lease agreement with a lumber company and evicting the company from its mill, finding in part that shutting down the mill would harm the company, its employees and the national economy, which has been suffering through a lumber shortage recently.

  • August 03, 2022

    Summary Judgment Is Granted, Denied In Tribe, City Landfill Row

    YAKIMA, Wash. — Competing motions for summary judgment in a dispute over expenses the Yakama Nation says it incurred monitoring contamination at a former municipal landfill were denied Aug. 1 by a federal judge in Washington, less than one month after the judge granted summary judgment that the tribe has Comprehensive Environmental Response, Cost and Liability Act standing.

  • August 02, 2022

    90-Day Injunction Was Proper In Tribe’s Fight Over Geothermal Project, Panel Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 upheld the denial of injunctive relief longer than 90 days for a Nevada Indian tribe and an environmental group to block construction of a geothermal project on federal public land, saying the tribe and group failed to show that they are likely to succeed on their challenge to the project.

  • August 02, 2022

    Juul Says Tribe Can’t Bring MDL Claims For E-Cigs It Did Not Consume

    SAN FRANCISCO — E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) on July 28 moved in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to dismiss a claim against it for violation of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act (OCPA) brought by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, one of three tribal bellwethers accusing JLI of targeting tribes with illegal and deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes.

  • August 02, 2022

    Pueblo Sues To Recover Rent For Post Office On Tribe’s New Mexico Land

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States has operated a post office on tribal land in New Mexico without a lease since 2016 and now owes the tribe money damages for years of unpaid rent, the tribe says in a July 29 complaint filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

  • August 02, 2022

    Appeal Dismissed, Fees Awarded By 10th Circuit In Tribal Court Exhaustion Row

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 29 granted a motion by a technology company to dismiss its appeal in a tribal court exhaustion dispute and then granted a request by the tribe involved to have the company pay its attorney fees for pursuing a frivolous appeal.

  • August 01, 2022

    Oglala Sioux Tribe Sues Government Over Lack Of Adequate Police Staffing

    RAPID CITY, S.D. — The United States is violating two treaties and several federal statutes by not paying enough money to operate an adequate police force on the vast reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, where murder and drug crimes are on the rise and 911 calls for help sometimes get little response, the tribe says in a July 26 federal lawsuit against the government.

  • July 29, 2022

    Split 9th Circuit Agrees California Negotiated In Bad Faith For Tribal Gaming Deals

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a divided decision, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 28 affirmed an award of summary judgment to several California Indian tribes because the state negotiated in bad faith with the tribes on new gaming compacts by asking for more than is allowed under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) law while not offering substantial concessions in return.

  • July 29, 2022

    8th Circuit Puts End To South Dakota’s Suit Over Mount Rushmore Fireworks

    ST. LOUIS — South Dakota cannot succeed on its claim that the federal government wrongly denied a permit for an Independence Day fireworks display at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in 2021, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 27 after finding that the court “cannot change what happened last year” and the state “has not shown that it would actually benefit from the elimination of the permitting regime” in a dispute that drew opposition from Native American tribes.

  • July 27, 2022

    Utility Seeks Cert For Row With Tribe Over Cutting Power To Elderly Tribesman

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court needs to decide whether the Crow Tribe in Montana has jurisdiction over a nonprofit electric cooperative for allegedly violating tribal law by disconnecting power to an elderly tribal member who lives on tribal trust land, the cooperative says in a July 19 petition for a writ of certiorari.

  • July 27, 2022

    Teva To Pay More Than $4B To Settle Opioid Claims Of States, Indian Tribes

    PETAH TIKVA, Israel — Opioid manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. announced July 26 that it has reached a more than $4 billion nationwide settlement with states, municipalities and Native American tribes in long-running litigation over the company’s role in the country’s opioid epidemic.

  • July 26, 2022

    Government Urges Supreme Court To Review Navajo Nation Water Rights Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government on July 15 filed a U.S. Supreme Court petition for certiorari and a memorandum in a related high court case saying the court needs to decide if the United States has a fiduciary duty to provide water for the Navajo Nation from the Colorado River.

  • July 25, 2022

    5th Circuit Remands Texas Tribe’s Gaming Row At Direction Of Supreme Court

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 21 sent a long-running case over the legality of bingo gaming in Texas on an Indian tribe’s reservation back to the trial court after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the tribe in June and ordered a remand.

  • July 20, 2022

    Insurer Moves For Judgment In Coverage Dispute With Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority

    HARTFORD, Conn. — An insurer on July 13 moved for judgment one month after a Connecticut judge granted its motion to strike the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority’s breach of contract and bad faith complaint seek coverage for its economic losses arising from the closure of the insured’s operations because of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • July 18, 2022

    Yakama Nation Has Standing In CERCLA Row, Washington Federal Judge Says

    YAKIMA, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington on July 6 said the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation have standing to maintain an action for cost recovery against the city of Yakima, Wash., in connection with the cleanup of hazardous waste at a former municipal landfill that is also the scene of a historic tribal village.

  • July 18, 2022

    Tribe Takes Battle With DOI Over Fracking Permits To 8th Circuit

    BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota Indian tribe on July 8 appealed to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a federal court’s grant of summary judgment to the Department of the Interior (DOI) and an energy development company on the tribe’s claims that the government acted arbitrarily in issuing permits for a hydraulic fracturing drilling project.

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