Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law   712.224.5420

California | Compacts | Litigation
Court won't rehear California compact lawsuit

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said it won't rehear a gaming compact lawsuit involving the Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians.

The tribe sued the state over the number of gaming devices allowed under the 1999 compact. The agreement theoretically promises each tribe a maximum of 2,000 devices but the California Gambling Control Commission imposed a statewide cap that prevents most casinos from reaching the limit.

A federal judge dismissed the case, saying that it required the participation of all the tribes that signed the compact. Due to sovereign immunity, however, the tribes could not join without their consent.

On appeal, the 9th Circuit reversed and said the case could proceed without the other tribes. That was a victory for the Cachil Dehe Band and others, like the Rincon Band of Mission Indians, that are seeking to fulfill the promises of the 1999 compact.

9th Circuit Decision:
Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians v. California (October 24, 2008)