(Click to edit)

Individual Right to Challenge Land To Trust Decision Allowed

June 18, 2012 | Posted by Jordan, James | Print this page

In a much anticipated ruling, today the Supreme Court affirmed the D.C. Circuit's decision in Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak et al.. Contrary to years of precedent, the Court held in an 8-1 opinion that the Quiet Title Act's "Indian lands exception" does not bar suits against the United States to challenge title to land held in trust on behalf of an Indian tribe. The opinion holds that Patchak, a neighbor to the property at issue, has "prudential" standing to bring such a claim, even where he does not claim any competing title interest in the property. In short, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act statute of limitations, the opinion opens the door to challenges to trust land acquisitions that are less than six years old.