Litigation


June 12, 2014 2:39 PM | Posted by Coyle, Brie and Raymond, Emily (Summer Associate) | Permalink

On June 11, the Ninth Circuit granted the Big Lagoon Rancheria Tribe's petition for rehearing en banc.  The Tribe's petition urged reconsideration of the Ninth Circuit's January 21, 2014 decision in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, which authorized the state to collaterally attack a trust land designation

read more
May 27, 2014 10:47 AM | Posted by Coyle, Brie | Permalink
The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that tribal sovereign immunity prevents the State from suing an Indian Tribe for operating an off-reservation casino in northern Michigan. read more
May 14, 2014 10:40 AM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
The Washington State Bar Association Indian Law Section is co-sponsoring the 26th Annual WSBA Indian Law Seminar—Staying Current. The May 23 seminar is being . . . read more
March 14, 2014 4:03 PM | Posted by Coyle, Brie | Permalink
On March 6, 2014, the Big Lagoon Rancheria Tribe filed its petition for rehearing, with suggestion for rehearing en banc. The petition argues that rehearing is necessary to "correct fundamental mistakes of fact and law" contained in the January 21, 2014, majority opinion. read more
January 29, 2014 10:53 AM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey and Coyle, Brie | Permalink
On January 21, 2014, the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a challenge to the Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) regulations governing surface leasing on . . . read more
December 4, 2013 2:38 PM | Posted by Coyle, Brie | Permalink
Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Michigan v. Bay Mills. The case presents two issues for the court: (1) whether a federal court has jurisdiction to enjoin activity . . . read more
September 13, 2013 3:34 PM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
Washington State successfully defended its enforcement of escrow collections required under the Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco manufacturers. read more
June 25, 2013 3:10 PM | Posted by Masse, Chris & Beaton, Travis - 2013 law clerk | Permalink

On June 25, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Indian Child Welfare Act ("ICWA") does not bar the adoption of a Native American child where the Native American biological father has relinquished his parental rights. The majority reasoned that the protective provisions of ICWA do not apply to situations in which "the relevant parent never had custody of the child" and "no other eligible [Native American] candidates have sought to adopt the child."

read more
February 5, 2013 4:44 PM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) new leasing regulations became final last month on January 4 and already may impact pending litigation in Washington State. read more
November 15, 2012 9:28 AM | Posted by Jordan, James | Permalink

In a decision issued November 13, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a challenge to the tribal cigarette taxing authority, upholding the district court ruling.

read more
September 13, 2012 1:02 PM | Posted by Masse, Chris | Permalink

Today, Senator Akaka held yet another hearing on the impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in the Carcieri, and now, Patchak, cases.

read more
September 7, 2012 1:09 PM | Posted by Groshong, Geoff | Permalink
After a hearing on September 4, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California dismissed the petition . . . read more
September 7, 2012 10:02 AM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink

The IRS issued Notice 2012-60 this week regarding settlement proceeds from litigation in which the tribes allege that the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury mismanaged monetary assets and natural resources the United States holds in trust for the benefit of the tribes. 

read more
August 30, 2012 1:16 PM | Posted by Masse, Chris and Jordan, James | Permalink
Today a divided Washington Supreme Court issued its awaited ruling in AUTOMOTIVE UNITED TRADES ORGANIZATION v. STATE, finding that the challenge to payments made under tribal fuel compacts may proceed to trial . . . read more
August 20, 2012 12:00 PM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
The University of Washington is hosting its annual Indian Law Symposium,  September 6th & 7th. The program highlights include . . . read more
August 17, 2012 3:01 PM | Posted by Masse, Chris and Molatore, Clifton | Permalink
Asserting a series of state law claims, on July 31, 2012, Wells Fargo filed a complaint against the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians and the . . . read more
August 9, 2012 9:00 AM | Posted by Groshong, Geoff | Permalink
On Thursday, August 2, the Yavapai-Apache Nation ("YAN"), a creditor of the Iipay Nation's Santa Ysabel Resort and Casino ("Casino"), filed a motion to . . . read more
June 18, 2012 4:40 PM | Posted by Jordan, James | Permalink
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. read more
January 16, 2012 3:33 PM | Posted by Jordan, James | Permalink
In a recent 5-4 decision (ZDI Gaming, Inc. v. State), the Washington Supreme Court upheld the superior court's jurisdiction to review a Washington State Gambling Commission ("Commission") decision. In the case at issue, the Commission denied the application of ZDI Gaming Inc. to distribute its VIP (video interactive display) electronic pull tab machine. Although the gaming machine petition was made moot by a change in Commission rules, the jurisdictional question remained a disputed question. read more
December 1, 2011 3:43 PM | Posted by Jordan, James | Permalink
On November 15, 2011, the Washington Supreme Court published a case, (172 Wn.2d 506) involving the jurisdiction of tribal law enforcement over non-Indian drivers pursued on the reservation but stopped and detained just over the reservation's border. read more
July 26, 2011 8:00 AM | Posted by Jordan, James | Permalink
The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation ("Yakama Nation") have filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for Eastern Washington (Spokane Division) against numerous federal agencies and county and city municipalities, alleging that their respective law enforcement officers violated  the Yakama Treaty of 1855 and other federal laws when they entered tribal lands during an armed raid lead by the FBI in February 2011. read more
July 18, 2011 1:00 PM | Posted by Van Dusen, Frank | Permalink
A federal district court, citing the Tenth Circuit's particular expertise, issued an injunction Monday (July 11, 2011) barring the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB’) from proceeding with two unfair labor practice charges against the Chickasaw Nation's Department of Commerce, which operates tribal casinos on tribal lands.  It appears that the order is contrary to the 2007 DC Circuit decision in San Manuel where the DC Circuit held that a tribal casino is a commercial enterprise when substantially all its employees and customers are not tribal. read more
June 17, 2011 1:35 PM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
In a decision issued last Friday, the Ninth Circuit affirmed that an Indian tribe's inherent power to exclude provides regulatory and adjudicatory jurisdiction over a non-Indian business operating on tribal lands, independent of the Montana test. The court held the Colorado River Indian Tribes ("CRIT") had jurisdiction to evict Water Wheel Camp Recreational Area ("Water Wheel"), a non-Indian business operating on tribal land, when it failed to vacate peaceably. read more
June 10, 2011 8:35 AM | Posted by Masse, Chris | Permalink
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of the Interior ("Interior") announced that it now has authorization to communicate directly with tribal leaders about the land consolidation provisions of the Cobell settlement. read more
June 7, 2011 10:52 AM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
In a 36-page opinion issued May 19, 2011, the Supreme Court of Montana overturned a lower court’s decision to assume jurisdiction over a probate action in which the Blackfeet Tribe claimed to have sole jurisdiction. The conflict arose over the estate of a deceased member of the Blackfeet Tribe. read more
May 10, 2011 4:27 PM | Posted by Jordan, James | Permalink
In a 53-page opinion issued Monday, May 9, 2011, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court injunction issued to a New York tribe against the State of New York, which had prohibited the state from collecting taxes for on-reservation cigarette sales to nontribal members and upheld other courts' refusals to issue injunctions sought by other tribes. All the tribes had argued that New York's amended tax laws violated both their tribal sovereignty and their immunity from state taxation. read more
April 14, 2011 8:43 AM | Posted by Masse, Chris and Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
The Automotive United Trades Organization ("AUTO") is appealing a decision to dismiss its case against the state challenging the tribal fuel compacts directly to the Supreme Court of Washington. read more