indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

Print   Subscribe
Judge protects Oneida Nation land from foreclosure
Monday, June 5, 2006

A federal judge halted foreclosure proceedings against the Oneida Nation on Friday, ruling that the tribe's reservation in upstate New York still exists.

The 250,000-acre reservation was set aside by a 1788 treaty and confirmed by the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua. Through transactions that were not confirmed by Congress, the tribe lost most of its land base.

But that doesn't mean the reservation has gone away, U.S. District Judge Paul Hurd wrote. In a 14-page decision, he said the tribe's properties cannot be taken away by local governments due to the unapproved land transactions and sovereign immunity.

"At issue in this litigation are 280 properties owned by the nation that are located within Oneida County. Part of the Oneida Indian Reservation, as reserved to the nation in the 1788 Treaty of Ft. Schuyler and confirmed in the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua, lies within the boundaries of Oneida County," Hurd wrote. "All of the 280 properties at issue here fall within the reservation."

"Oneida Indian Nation's reservation was not disestablished," an order accompanying the decision stated.

The ruling is a victory for the tribe two years after suffering defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices, by an 8-1 vote, said the tribe could not assert sovereignty over properties within its reservation without going through the land-into-trust process.

The Supreme Court's action prompted more than 20 municipalities in Oneida and Madison counties to ask for millions in property taxes. And it led the tribe to submit a land-into-trust application for more than 17,000 acres in the two counties.

A decision on the application is at least a year away but Hurd's ruling clears some big hurdles in the process because the Bush administration said it would not acquire the tribe's properties in trust pending unpaid property taxes or foreclosure proceedings.

The Supreme Court "unmistakably held that the lands at issue (property interests purchased ... on the open market) are subject to real property taxes," associate deputy secretary Jim Cason wrote in a June 2005 letter. "In the event these taxes are not paid, we believe such lands are subject to foreclosure."

Hurd has since issued two rulings covering the tribe's properties in Oneida and Madison counties. The first ruling came last July, when the judge said that land owned by one sovereign government can't be taken away by another government.

"The seizing of land owned by a sovereign nation strikes directly at the very heart of that nationís sovereignty," he wrote in the Oneida County case. Friday's decision affected Madison County.

With both rulings in place, the tribe reaffirmed its desire to settle its land claim over the 250,000-acre reservation. "The Oneidas are gratified by Judge Hurd's decisions in the Madison County and Oneida County cases and are confident they will be affirmed on appeal," the tribe said in a statement.

The tribe had filed lawsuits in state court over property taxes but said the federal court rulings "remove the need for any further litigation in state court." The Syracuse Post-Standard, however, reported on Saturday that a state judge is refusing to drop the cases.

Hurd's rulings face a major challenge before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which recently dismissed the 64,000-acre Cayuga land claim, relying on the Supreme Court's ruling in the Oneida land-into-trust case. Last month, the Supreme Court refused to accept an appeal sought by the Cayuga Nation of New York, the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe and the Bush administration.

Court Decision:
Oneida Nation v. Oneida County (June 2, 2006)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Jim Cason / Mike Olsen (June 10, 2005)

Sherrill v. Oneida Nation Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Ginsburg] | Concurrence [Souter] | Dissent [Stevens]

Relevant Links:
Oneida Nation Trust - http://www.oneidanationtrust.com
Indian Nation Fee-to-Trust Land Acquisition Applications in New York State - http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/ogc/lands.html
Oneida Nation, New York - http://www.oneida-nation.net

Related Stories:
Oneida Nation back in court over property tax bills (6/2)
Oneida Nation jumps into discount retail business (6/1)
Sen. Schumer says Oneida land claim next to go (05/19)
Cayuga land claim refused by U.S. Supreme Court (5/16)
Oneida Nation confident on future of land claim (5/16)
Cason says Oneida Nation trust land decision far off (5/10)
Oneida Nation faces hearing on county smoking law (04/18)
Oneida Nation seeks waiver from local smoking law (02/23)
Oneida Nation wants land claim settlement honored (2/16)
BIA to hold another Oneida Nation meeting in March (2/8)
Oneida Nation vows fight over trust land application (2/2)
Pataki latest to oppose Oneida Nation trust land bid (1/31)
BIA to decide on Oneida Nation trust lands in 2007 (1/30)
Stockbridge-Munsee Band asks to join Oneida case (01/18)
Oneida Nation fined for violating county law (12/01)
Oneida Nation sues to stop land foreclosures (11/22)
Judicial activism raised on Oneida Nation case (11/16)
Oneida Nation said to call off settlement talks (11/01)
Judge issues another ruling in favor of Oneida Nation (10/31)
Judge rules Oneida Nation land can't be foreclosed (10/28)
BIA extends comment period on Oneida trust lands (10/26)
Oneida Nation offers to pay back taxes to city (10/20)
Pombo to draft New York land claims settlement (10/11)
Oneida Nation agrees to taxes, local jurisdiction (10/6)
Judge extends Sherrill decision to Cayuga Nation (10/6)
Oneida Nation drops OSHA sovereignty challenge (9/29)
City seeks title to Oneida Nation properties (9/28)
BIA seeks comments on Oneida Nation trust lands (9/27)
Oneida Nation land claim mediator calls it quits (09/09)
Oneida Nation says county can't foreclose on land (9/8)
Son of land claim judge wins at Oneida Nation (08/23)
Oneida Nation files lawsuits to challenge taxes (8/17)
Oneida Nation offers to settle land claim for $250M (8/12)
Oneida Nation to make school tax payments (8/10)
Oneida Nation makes payment in property tax dispute (8/9)
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe to pay tax bill in New York (08/05)
Oneida Nation gets respite in property tax fight (07/06)
Oneida Nation in talks with Pataki over land claim (6/23)
Editorial: Now's the time to settle tribal land claims (7/5)
Cayuga tribes to challenge land claim decision (7/5)
Pataki scales back Catskills casino legislation (6/10)
BIA says Oneida Nation lands are in restricted status (6/3)
Oneida Nation to detail spending in tax fight (5/25)
Supreme Court won't rehear Oneida Nation case (5/24)
Oneida Nation open to land claim talks with Pataki (5/18)
Pataki presses Oneida Nation to settle land claim (5/16)
Column: Tribes just can't come and take 'our' land (5/11)
Pataki: No tribal trust lands without state approval (4/28)
New York Senate votes against trust land for tribes (4/20)
Pataki, county blast Oneida Nation's trust land bid (4/14)
Oneida Nation seeks trust land in wake of ruling (4/14)
Supreme Court decision derails Pataki settlements (4/11)
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe to pay taxes on acquired land (4/8)
Supreme Court called less sympathetic to Indians (4/7)
Fallout from Supreme Court ruling on Oneida Nation (4/6)
BIA official calls high court ruling 'quite depressing' (03/31)
Major defeat for Oneida Nation in Supreme Court case (3/30)
Pataki, city, foes pleased with Oneida Nation ruling (3/30)
Major defeat for Oneida Nation in Supreme Court case (3/29)
Oneida Nation ruling could impact land claims (01/13)
Passage of time at issue in Oneida Nation case (01/12)
Oneida Nation wants court to uphold promises (1/12)
Supreme Court rejects two Indian law cases (1/12)
Supreme Court to hear Oneida Nation land dispute (1/10)
New York municipalities pony up for court brief (12/14)
Hearing set for Oneida Nation treaty rights case (11/12)
Supreme Court takes action on Indian law cases (11/02)
Tribes file briefs in Oneida Nation land case (10/18)
Supreme Court Roundup: 2003-2004 Term (07/08)
Supreme Court to hear dispute over Oneida Nation land (06/29)
Oneida Nation sees support in Bush administration brief (06/08)
Appeal planned in Cayuga Nation land rights case (04/30)
Cayuga Nation land rights upheld by federal judge (4/26)
Cayuga Nation's plans for land worry some in village (04/07)
Report: Seneca-Cayuga Tribe has bigger plans in store (04/06)
NIGC accused of 'ducking' casino land issue in N.Y. (03/23)
Judge in N.Y. hears Seneca-Cayuga land dispute (03/12)
Supreme Court asks for DOJ brief in Oneida case (02/24)
Bill would terminate out-of-state sovereign rights (09/26)
Appeals expected in Seneca-Cayuga Tribe's land case (09/10)
Judge to decide fate of Seneca-Cayuga Tribe's land (9/9)
Cayuga tribes slowly reclaiming ancestral territory (09/02)
Okla. tribe says court decision bolsters case (07/24)
Cayuga Nation welcomes Indian Country decision (07/23)
Oneida Nation wins treaty lands case (7/22)

Copyright © 2000-2006 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Violence against Native women is on the rise (10/24)
Morgan Howard: Corporate dividends confict with Tlingit values (10/24)
David Wilkins: Abandon the Doctrine of Discovery in Indian law (10/24)
Navajo Nation candidate Chris Deschene won't halt campaign (10/24)
Tribes receive $1.2M in Sovereignty in Indian Education funds (10/24)
Language preservation a top issue as AFN opens annual meet (10/24)
Rep. Don Young to speak to Alaska Natives amid controversy (10/24)
Think Progress: South Dakota county suppresses Native vote (10/24)
Opinion: Tribes turn their acumen to Internet lending industry (10/24)
Chickasaw Nation signs compact with state for license plates (10/24)
Federal judge won't be removed from Miccosukee Tribe's case (10/24)
Radio: NPS allowed destruction of tribal burial mounds in Iowa (10/24)
BIA announces intent to put Cowlitz Tribe gaming site in trust (10/24)
Feinstein opposes North Fork Rancheria off-reservation casino (10/24)
Salt River Tribe arrests man who left children in casino garage (10/24)
Closure of Chukchansi Tribe's casino could affect contributions (10/24)
Opinion: Shinnecock Nation's casino plans remain under cloud (10/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe heads to election season (10/23)
Al Caroll: Recognize tribal sovereignty in new US Constitution (10/23)
Michael Baines: Senate candidate battles Alaska Native rights (10/23)
President Barack Obama urges early voting for Alaska Natives (10/23)
Ho-Chunk Nation woman named president of Girl Scouts board (10/23)
3rd Circuit won't force town to repatriate Jim Thorpe's remains (10/23)
Navajo Nation's top court orders new ballots without candidate (10/23)
Alaska Federation of Natives ready to open annual convention (10/23)
Alaska governor to sign Native languages bill six months later (10/23)
Rep. Don Young blames government 'largesse' for suicide rate (10/23)
Washington player says tattoo represents Cherokee heritage (10/23)
Crow Tribe seeks renewal of Indian Coal Production Tax Credit (10/23)
Native advocates come together to combat domestic violence (10/23)
Agua Caliente Band and DOJ submit briefs in water rights case (10/23)
Former health executive from Chippewa Cree Tribe sentenced (10/23)
Final person sentenced in theft from Blackfeet Nation program (10/23)
Opinion: Tribes exploit loopholes in America's political system (10/23)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe announces plans for new gaming facility (10/23)
Rival leaders of Chukchansi Tribe to meet amid casino closure (10/23)
Navajo Nation challenges lawsuit over death of casino patron (10/23)
Law Article: Judge restricts BIA authority in Class III dispute (10/23)
Column: Election won't end North Fork off-reservation casino (10/23)
Eyapaha Today: Oneida singer follows in mother's footsteps (10/22)
Native Sun News: Candidate seeks investigation into program (10/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.