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Law
Pechanga Band enrollment dispute closely watched


A lawsuit filed by former members of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians is being closely watched by other disenrolled Indians in California.

The Pechanga plaintiffs are using Public Law 280 to argue that the tribe violated its own laws. They say the federal law gives the state courts jurisdiction to hear civil and criminal matters involving tribes.

A state judge agreed but an appeals court is considering overturning the ruling. A hearing was held last week and the judges have prepared a draft opinion to dismiss the suit.

But if the ruling is upheld, former members of the Redding Rancheria hope they can use it in their case. The Redding plaintiffs also raised Public Law 280 but in a different way that was rejected by the federal courts. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case in May.

Get the Story:
Pechanga disenrollment case testing federal law (The North County Times 7/10)

Relevant Links:
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians - http://www.pechanga.com
Pechanga Tribal Disenrollment - http://www.pechanga.info
Bureau-of-Indian-Affairs.com, Disenrollment site - http://www.bureau-of-indian-affairs.com

Related Stories:
Court hears Pechanga Band enrollment dispute (7/7)
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Opinion: Gaming has turned tribes on other tribes (5/20)
Ousted Redding Rancheria members head to forum (5/19)
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Ousted Pechangas file another lawsuit against tribe (03/28)
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State judge won't dismiss lawsuit over tribal enrollment (07/27)
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