Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse police at an allotment in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, on August 16, 2017. Photo: Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Litigation | Openings & Closings

Kialegee Tribal Town can't sue Muscogee Nation officials for raid of gaming site

The Kialegee Tribal Town has been dealt another setback in its attempt to open a casino on an Indian allotment in Oklahoma.

The tribe sued officials of the rival Muscogee (Creek) Nation in federal court in connection with a raid of the allotment on August 16. But a federal judge quickly dismissed the case due to lack of jurisdiction.

"The court finds that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case because plaintiffs have not shown in their complaint that the court would be required to resolve a substantial and disputed question of federal law," Judge Claire Eagan wrote in a decision on Tuesday, just five days after the Kialegee Tribal Town filed the suit.

Eagan suggested the Kialegee Tribal Town pursue the case in Muscogee Nation court instead. The Muscogee Nation is already prosecuting the owner of the allotment for alleged violations of its gaming laws.

"The Nation has only sought to enforce its laws in this matter and the filing of all actions in federal court by the other parties have solely been an attempt to avoid the Nation’s jurisdiction and the consequences of violating the Nation’s laws," the Muscogee Nation Attorney General’s Office said in a statement to Mvskoke Media after the case was dismissed.

The Kialegee Tribal Town contends it can use the allotment for gaming. But the National Indian Gaming Commission, in an advisory letter, warned that such efforts would be considered a violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The law requires gaming to be conducted on "Indian lands" over which a tribe exercises jurisdiction. In an earlier situation, the NIGC said the Kialegee Tribal Town did not meet the jurisdictional test when it tried to open a casino on a nearby allotment.

The tribe has filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in hopes of confirming its jurisdiction over the allotment where the raid occurred.

Read More on the Story:
Federal court dismisses Kialegee suit (Mvskoke Media August 30, 2017)
Federal judge: Kialegee lawsuit belongs in tribal court (The Tulsa World August 29, 2017)

National Indian Gaming Commission Indian Land Opinions:
July 8, 2013 | June 8, 2012 | May 24, 2012

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

Related Stories:
Kialegee Tribal Town sues officials of Muscogee Nation for raid of casino site (August 24, 2017)
Muscogee Nation seeks to disenroll citizen who leads rival Kialegee Tribal Town (August 18, 2017)
Muscogee Nation raids allotment and makes arrest in dispute over casino bid (August 17, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town warned not to engage in gaming on allotment in Oklahoma (August 11, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town continues to seek employees for casino-related positions (August 7, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town faces opposition to potential casino on allotment (August 2, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town confirms interest in gaming facility on allotment (July 19, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town aims to approve gaming at allotment in Oklahoma (July 17, 2017)
Muscogee Nation asserts authority at allotment where casino was proposed (June 19, 2017)
Restaurant set to open on site of failed Kialegee Tribal Town casino (June 12, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town stays quiet as failed casino sits unfinished (February 12, 2016)