SEATTLE — In a May 20 order, a federal judge in Washington rejected efforts by the U.S. government and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians to halt entry of a proposed consent decree in a citizen suit under the Clean Water Act.
CHICAGO — Tribal entities must arbitrate their claims against gambling machine companies for violating federal antitrust law by creating a monopoly for automatic card shuffling machines, a U.S. district court judge in Illinois ruled May 19 in granting the defendant companies’ request to compel arbitration.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A landowner’s takings claim against the United States for flooding on her property allegedly caused by a nearby Native American casino on trust land fails because any harm she suffered was caused by the tribe, not the U.S. government, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled May 18 in granting the United States’ motion to dismiss.
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 16 denied a motion by the Klamath Irrigation District (KID) to intervene in a water release case between the Yurok Tribe and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, finding that the district raises an issue that goes beyond the scope of the lawsuit.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a dispute over exhausting tribal court remedies before seeking habeas corpus relief in a federal court for the tribal court’s arrest warrant, certiorari should be granted so the U.S. Supreme Court can decide “vital issues of tribal power over non-members” of the tribe, the arrestee says in a May 13 petition to the high court.
ST. LOUIS — A man who continues to accuse a South Dakota tribe of violating his civil rights when arresting him lost his second appeal on May 12 in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which affirmed a trial court’s ruling in a brief per curiam opinion.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A California appeals court’s ruling allowing a county to impose a possessory interest tax on lessees of land set aside for a Native American tribe stands after the U.S. Supreme Court on May 16 declined the lessees’ request to review the case.
PIERRE, S.D. — Two fathers seeking custody of their Native American children are not entitled to habeas relief because the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act does not apply to Indian tribes, a federal judge in South Dakota reluctantly held May 11 in awarding judgment to tribal and state respondents.
SAN FRANCISCO — The California federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and related entities on May 9 selected the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes as the third tribal bellwether plaintiff that, along with two other tribes selected by the parties, will now proceed into discovery and potentially trial on the tribes’ claims that the defendants targeted them with deceptive marketing about e-cigarettes.
BISMARCK, N.D. — A state trial court correctly held that it had subject matter jurisdiction to issue an eviction order against a tribal member, and its finding that a tribal housing authority is not a separate Indian community for purposes of tribal court jurisdiction “was not clearly erroneous,” the North Dakota Supreme Court determined April 28 in affirming the state court’s decision.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — For 150 years, the United States took Native children away from their families and put them in boarding schools that failed in their “identity-alteration methodologies” to assimilate the children into the American way of life and instead led to the deaths of hundreds of youths who were interred at burial sites at several of the schools, the Department of the Interior (DOI) says in an investigative report released May 11.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Oklahoma appeals court correctly vacated rape and murder convictions of two men based on their status as Indians, and the rulings do not conflict with other courts on how to determine whether a defendant is a Native American, the men tell the U.S. Supreme Court in May 10 briefs in opposition to petitions for certiorari filed by the state.
BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota federal judge on May 9 declined to dismiss a long-running administrative case in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) over damages owed by a man for trespassing on Indian land by mining gravel and other minerals without a valid lease from the tribal owner of the property, saying the court must wait for a final decision in the proceeding before taking any action.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police had “reasonable suspicion” to stop a man and “probable cause” to arrest him for possibly driving while intoxicated even though lab tests later showed that he was neither drunk nor on drugs, and his claim that the officers racially targeted and stereotyped him because he is Native American fails, a New Mexico federal judge ruled May 5 in mostly awarding summary judgement to a city and three of its officers.
BOSTON — In a tribal payday lending case presenting “an important question of first impression” in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a divided panel of the court on May 6 held that the U.S. Bankruptcy Code “unequivocally” abrogates Indian tribes’ sovereign immunity.
By Robert M. Hall
DENVER — In a loss for farmers who brought state law negligence claims over water pollution caused by a blowout at an inactive gold mine in southwestern Colorado, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 3 held that the statute of limitations of the state where the source of the pollution is located must be used, rather than the limitations period of the forum state for the litigation.
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 27 affirmed a federal district court ruling that it lacked jurisdiction to recognize and enforce a tribal court judgment in a water rights dispute that took place on a Native American reservation.
RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on April 26 allowed tribal members who have been evicted from their homes on a 20-acre reservation by the tribe’s interim government to amend their lawsuit to allege that the Department of the Interior (DOI) has failed in its oversight responsibilities for the tribe.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — When a non-Indian commits a crime against an Indian, the state in which the crime took place should have concurrent jurisdiction with the federal government to prosecute the defendant, an attorney for Oklahoma told the U.S. Supreme Court on April 27, saying the jurisdiction issue has taken on added importance since the high court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma.