California | Casino Stalker | Litigation
California off-reservation casino opponents weigh lawsuits

Opponents of two off-reservation casinos in California are considering lawsuits, The Fresno Bee reports.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) approved casinos for the Enterprise Rancheria and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians. Opponents might challenge his decision, the tribal Class III gaming compacts or the land-into-trust applications, which have yet to be finalized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"We get contacted by more and more tribes that now understand the impacts of this on tribal gaming in California," tribal lobbyist David Quintana told the paper. "Have no doubt there will be intense and visceral opposition."

The main basis for a lawsuit appears to be the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The court restricted the land-into-trust process to tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" as of 1934.

The North Fork Rancheria was terminated by an act of Congress in 1961. The tribe was restored to federal recognition in 1983 after litigation.

The Enterprise Rancheria has been recognized since at least 1935, the Interior Board of Indian Appeals said in a 2007 decision.

The Supreme Court decision in Salazar v. Patchak is also being discussed. The court said just about anyone can sue over a land-into-trust decision and can do so within six years after the BIA's final agency action.

Get the Story:
Madera-area casino opponents consider lawsuits (The Fresno Bee 9/14)

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California tribal group wants rules for off-reservation casinos (9/12)
Enterprise Rancheria foes to dispute Class III gaming compact (9/5)