Mechoopda Tribe wins decision in long-running casino litigation

The Mechoopda Tribe plans to build a casino at this site along Highway 149 near Oroville, California. Image from Google Maps

The Mechoopda Tribe of California is finally hoping to move forward with a long-delayed casino project.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the tribe's land-into-trust application in January 2014. But officials in Butte County sued and complained that the decision was "arbitrary and capricious."

Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. rejected that argument in a decision released on Friday. The BIA's decision was "thorough and well-reasoned," he wrote in a 17-page ruling that won praise from the tribe.

"The Mechoopda Indian Tribe looks forward to advancing our proposed casino project. In doing so, we plan to drive economic development in Butte County for years to come," Chairman Dennis Ramirez said in a press release.

The casino would take up about 91 acres of a 625-acre site along Highway 149, about halfway between the city of Chico and the city of Oroville.

Get the Story:
Mechoopda Tribe wins right to build California county’s 3rd casino (McClatchy DC 7/18)
Federal judge rules for Mechoopda in dispute with county (The Chico Enterprise-Record 7/18)

District Court Decision:
Butte County v. Chaudhuri (July 15, 2016)

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Butte County v. Hogen (July 13, 2010)

Federal Register Notice:
Land Acquisitions; Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria of California (February 27, 2014)

National Indian Gaming Commission Indian Lands Opinions:
January 24, 2014 | March 14, 2003

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