Kialegee Tribal Town granted extension to respond in casino case

Artist's rendering of the what was to be the Red Clay Casino on an Indian allotment in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Image from Kialegee Tribal Town

The U.S. Supreme Court has given the Kialegee Tribal Town of Oklahoma more time to file a response in an Indian gaming case.

After winning the case at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, the tribe wasn't planning on submitting a brief in Oklahoma v. Hobia. But the justices asked for one anyway and it's now due July 10, according to Docket Sheet No. 14-1177.

At issue is whether the state of Oklahoma can sue the tribe and its leaders for proposing to open a casino on an Indian allotment. The 10th Circuit gave a clear answer: No, because the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act does not waive immunity for activities that occur outside of "Indian lands."

The National Indian Gaming Commission has twice determined that the allotment does not meet IGRA's definition of "Indian lands."

The case is similar to Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community. In May 2014, the Supreme Court held that Michigan could not sue the Bay Mills Indian Community for opening a casino that was not located on "Indian lands."

"Although the state’s complaint alleges that defendants’ efforts to conduct Class III gaming violated IGRA because they occurred off Indian lands, the fact of the matter is, as Bay Mills clearly held, that IGRA is concerned only with Class III gaming on Indian lands," the 10th Circuit court wrote in the Kialegee Tribal Town case, citing the Bay Mills decision.

The Kialegee Tribal Town has since dropped plans to open the casino on the allotment. A developer has said a new site has been chosen but no announcements have been made.

10th Circuit Decision:
Oklahoma v. Hobia (December 22, 2014)

NIGC Indian Land Opinions:
May 25, 2012 | June 8, 2012

Supreme Court Decision:
Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community (May 27, 2014)

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Jay Daniels: Kialegee casino dispute shows they just don't get it (12/29)
10th Circuit refuses to rehear Kialegee Tribal Town gaming case (12/23)
Kialegee Tribal Town welcomes decision in gaming dispute (11/12)
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