Lawsuit against Ione Band casino moved to California court

A lawsuit that seeks to stop the Ione Band of Miwok Indians from opening a casino has been transferred to federal court in California.

Nicolas Villa Jr., who claims he is the hereditary Ione leader, filed his suit in Washington, D.C. He says the Obama administration erred when it approved a casino land-into-trust application for the tribe.

The Department of Justice filed a motion to transfer the case. Government attorneys noted that two other lawsuits against the casino are pending in California.

Judge Rosemary M. Collyer agreed that Villa 's case should be moved. "Judicial economy and convenience strongly favor transfer of this case to the district in which the California cases are pending," she wrote in a decision on Thursday.

The Ione Band plans to build a casino on a 228-acre site in Amador County.

Get the Story:
Casino lawsuit moves to Sacramento courthouse (The Sacramento Bee 3/29)

District Court Decision:
Villa v. Salazar (March 28, 2013)

Federal Register Notice:
Land Acquisitions; Ione Band of Miwok Indians of California (May 30, 2012)

Related Stories
County sues DOI for approving Ione Band casino land acquisition (6/29)

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