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Buena Vista Rancheria gets good and bad news in casino cases

Artist's rendering of the proposed Buena Vue Casino. Image from Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians

The Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians in California got some good news and bad news affecting its long-delayed plans for a casino in California.

The tribe wants to build a casino on its reservation. Plans have been held up by Amador County, whose lawsuit claims the land does not qualify as "Indian land" as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

A judge has yet to rule on the merits of the claim. The tribe sought to intervene but was denied by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

The court said the tribe waited too long to assert its interests. That means the federal government will have to continue defending the lawsuit, which has been pending since 2005.

That was the bad news. The good news came from the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear a petition that would have revived another lawsuit against the tribe.

That case originated from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A group called Friends of Amador County questioned the tribe's status as a federally recognized tribe but the lawsuit was dismissed.

The tribe was deemed a necessary party but the 9th Circuit said the tribe can't be joined without its consent. Without comment, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case on Monday.

Get the Story:
California tribe gets good news, bad news about its casino bid (McClatchy Washington 12/2)

DC Circuit Decision:
Amador County v. Jewell (December 2, 2014)

9th Circuit Decision:
Friends of Amador County v. Jewell (January 29, 2014)

Related Stories:
Court won't allow Buena Vista Rancheria in gaming land case (12/2)
Supreme Court won't hear Buena Vista Rancheria compact suit (12/1)