Jamul Band continues work on $360M casino after victory in court

Artist's rendering of the Hollywood Casino Jamul, a project of the Jamul Indian Village and Penn National Gaming.

The Jamul Indian Village of California continues work on its $360 million casino despite litigation from local opponents.

The tribe broke ground in January. Opponents have filed a series of lawsuits in state and federal court in hopes of stopping construction but so far none have been successful.

The latest victory came on August 5, when federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Jamul Action Committee. The group sued the National Indian Gaming Commission and individual tribal leaders, including Chairman Raymond Hunter, alleging various violations of federal law.

Judge Kimberly J. Mueller dismissed the complaint with respect to Hunter, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim. "Absent allegations Hunter violated a federal law, he cannot be named for the sole purpose of representing the tribe because he is entitled to tribal sovereign immunity as the tribe’s chairman," the decision stated.

Mueller also dismissed the complaint with respect to the NIGC. She determined that the case could not proceed without the involvement of the tribe, which has not consented to the suit.

Mueller, however, gave the Jamul Action Committee permission to file an amended complaint. The group did so on Tuesday in hopes of reviving its case against Hunter and the NIGC.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Jamul Action Committee v. Stevens.

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