Mealey's Native American Law

  • June 16, 2022

    Estoppel, Trust Extensions Targeted In Cert Bid Over Use Of Indian Land

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A dispute over a recreational vehicle park on Indian trust land heads to the U.S. Supreme Court, with the park members filing a petition for a writ of certiorari June 7 over their ejectment from the park due to an expired lease.

  • June 15, 2022

    Divided High Court Limits Reach Of Texas Gaming Laws On Tribe’s Land

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a win for a Texas Indian tribe, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 15 in a 5-4 ruling held that under federal law, Texas cannot ban bingo on a tribe’s reservation because the game is regulated but not illegal in the rest of the state.

  • June 14, 2022

    Tribes, BIA Win Again In 9th Circuit In Row Over Use Of Trust Land

    SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 13 affirmed the dismissal of cross-claims of a lease holder against Indian tribes and the United States in a long-running dispute over claims of trespass and ejectment against recreational vehicle owners who remained on their lakeside camping spots on Indian trust land long after their lease expired.

  • June 13, 2022

    Utah Tribe Argues Against Certiorari For Contract Row With Businessman

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — With no conflict among court decisions on the field of law involving the boundaries of state and tribal jurisdiction and no “exceptionally important” or “recurring” questions to review, certiorari should be denied in a business development contractor’s long-running breach of contract dispute with a Utah Indian tribe, the tribe tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a June 10 brief in opposition.

  • June 13, 2022

    Divided Supreme Court Says Double Jeopardy Doesn’t Apply To Indian’s Assault Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A tribal member’s federal court conviction and 30-year-sentence for sexual assault in Indian country following his guilty plea for the same offense in a tribal court is not a double-jeopardy violation of the U.S. Constitution because his “single act led to separate prosecutions for violations of a tribal ordinance and a federal statute,” the U.S. Supreme Court held June 13, affirming in a 6-3 decision.

  • June 09, 2022

    Rehearing Denied For Michigan Tribe’s Dispute With ERISA Plan Administrator

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 7 said it will not rehear, through a panel or the full court, its recent ruling in favor of a Michigan Indian tribe in its effort to have its insurer pay Medicare-like rates (MLR) for certain hospital services under a health care plan for tribal members.

  • June 09, 2022

    Tribe Not Likely To Succeed In Opioid Suit, Judge Says In Blocking Action

    MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin federal judge on June 6 enjoined officials of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians from proceeding with a tribal court case against a consulting firm defendant in a nationwide opioid multidistrict litigation after finding that the officials’ action will probably fail due to lack of jurisdiction.

  • June 08, 2022

    Full 9th Circuit To Rehear Arbitration Dispute In Tribal Lending Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 said the full court will rehear an appeal of a federal court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration in a payday lending dispute involving tribal entities.

  • June 08, 2022

    Federal Judge Denies Summary Judgment Motion On Government Contractor Defense

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A federal judge in New Mexico on May 31 declined to enter an order that two government contractors working at the Gold King Mine Superfund site were not entitled to the government contractor’s defense in a multidistrict litigation, finding that the contractors had shown genuine issues of material fact regarding differences between state and federal law and the scope of their work in connection with the release of a large amount of acid mine drainage and heavy metals into nearby rivers.

  • June 07, 2022

    United States Moves To Block Oregon Orders Limiting Releases From Klamath Lake

    SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service on May 27 moved for summary judgment against the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD), arguing that orders issued by the department forbidding Reclamation from releasing certain water from the Upper Klamath Lake violate the federal agencies’ obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and violate federal reserved tribal water rights for tribal fisheries.

  • June 07, 2022

    Klamath Tribes File 2nd Complaint Over Klamath Lake Water Releases

    MEDFORD, Ore. — The Klamath Tribes on May 9 filed a complaint against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to, in part, enjoin Reclamation from authorizing any further water diversions from the 2022 Spring/Summer Project Supply unless it “validly complies” with obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • June 07, 2022

    Tribes’ TRO Request To Prevent Casino Opening Rejected By Federal Judge

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Two Indian tribes are not entitled to a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block another tribe from opening a casino because they failed to show that they are likely to succeed on any of their claims, an Oklahoma federal judge said June 3 in denying the two tribes’ TRO request.

  • June 07, 2022

    Federal Judge Dismisses Wrongful Prosecution Suit Against California Tribe

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 3 dismissed all claims against tribal court officials over a business dispute based on prosecutorial immunity, though he said racketeering claims against two of the defendants can be amended with more specific allegations.

  • June 03, 2022

    State, Water Districts Ask U.S. High Court To Exercise Jurisdiction In Navajo Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three western states and nine western water districts on May 17 filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to exercise its retained jurisdiction in a Colorado River water rights case and rule that the Navajo Nation cannot sue three federal agencies to compel them to develop a water plan for the tribe and to manage the Lower Basin of the Colorado River (LBCR) but must instead let the high court decide the issue.

  • June 03, 2022

    Judge Stays New York Tribe’s Smoke Shop Suit In Deference To Tribal Court Action

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on June 2 stayed a racketeering suit filed by the Cayuga Nation against the operators of a non-tribal smoke shop on the nation’s reservation pending the resolution of a related case filed in the Cayuga Nation Civil Court.

  • June 02, 2022

    Congress Erred In Passing Indian Child Welfare Act, 2 States Tell Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Constitution does not give Congress the power to regulate Indian child-custody proceedings within a state’s jurisdiction, so the Supreme Court should hold that Congress did not have the authority to enact the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Ohio and Oklahoma argue in a June 1 amicus curiae brief in four consolidated cases in the high court.

  • June 01, 2022

    Indian Health Service Ordered To Pay Hospital’s Contract Support Costs Request

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on May 26 issued an injunction directing U.S. health care agencies to pay an Indian hospital more than $16 million this year for contract support costs so the hospital can continue to provide “critical healthcare” to its patients, who are mostly Navajo Nation members, while the hospital’s suit against the agencies proceeds.

  • May 31, 2022

    Courts Need Clear Test For Indian Status Of Defendants, Oklahoma Argues

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the expansion of federal criminal jurisdiction caused by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, “a bright-line and easily verifiable test” to determine a defendant’s Indian status is required, Oklahoma tells the high court in May 25 reply briefs in support of petitions for certiorari in two cases.

  • May 24, 2022

    High Court Review Of Immunity For Tribal Court Judge, Employees Debated

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals properly used the correct “analytic framework” when it affirmed a trial court’s finding that tribal court officials are entitled to absolute judicial or quasi-judicial immunity for a businessman’s malicious prosecution action, so review by the U.S. Supreme Court is not needed, the tribal officials say in a May 13 opposition brief.

  • May 23, 2022

    Tribal Payday Lending Parties Agree To Dismiss 2 Supreme Court Petitions

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 18 granted joint requests by tribal parties, business owners and consumers in a tribal payday lending dispute to dismiss two petitions for certiorari over an arbitration provision in loan documents, two days after the parties filed identical stipulations to dismiss and three weeks after a settlement was announced in the litigation.

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