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Judge bars Paskenta Band factions from interfering with casino

Filed Under: California | Litigation
More on: california, paskenta

The Rolling Hills Casino. Photo from Facebook

A federal judge granted a restraining order that prevents rival factions of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians from interfering with the tribe's casino in California.

Judge Kimberly Mueller took action after the state said the situation at the Rolling Hills Casino posed a threat to public health and safety. She barred the factions from disturbing operations at the facility and deploying armed personnel to the facility.

"An intra-tribal dispute now exists among Paskenta’s members. As a result of this dispute, two factions claim tribal leadership rights and the right to possession and control of the Rolling Hills Casino," Mueller wrote. "The intra-tribal dispute involves armed factions and has taxed the resources of the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, and thus poses a threat to the public health, safety and welfare."

Chairman Andy Freeman is leading one faction of the the tribe. He withdrew armed guards from the casino on Monday.

Disputed vice chairman David Swearinger belongs to another faction whose leaders are still recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He welcomed the judge's intervention.

“We have all said that we want to mediate this situation in good faith," Swearinger said in a press release. "Given the two-week timeframe, it will become abundantly clear whether everyone is really interested in resolving this dispute, or whether mediation talk is simply a stall tactic.”

The temporary restraining order expires July 2. Mueller has scheduled another hearing on June 30 to hear from the parties.

Turtle Talk has posted additional documents from the case, California v. Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians.

Get the Story:
Federal judge issues restraining order in tribal dispute (KRCR 6/18)
The cost to keeping the peace at Rolling Hills Casino (KRCR 6/18)
Tense, Armed Standoff at Indian Casino (Courthouse News Service 6/19)

An Opinion:
Kiley Willard: Observations on tribal split (The Red Bluff Daily News 6/19)

Relevant Documents:
Complaint: California v. Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians | Memorandum In Support of Temporary Restraining Order

Related Stories:
State seeks closure of Paskenta Band casino amid internal feud (6/18)

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