Citizens of the Bishop Paiute Tribe are battling their leaders over a disputed expansion of the Paiute Palace Casino in Bishop, California. Photo: Save North Pa Ha

Bishop Paiute Tribe casino expansion dispute lands back in court

The Bishop Paiute Tribe continues to push for an expansion of its casino in California amid legal questions.

The tribe wants to use land adjacent to the Paiute Palace Casino for a $30 million expansion. But the families that were originally assigned those parcels for their use won an important decision from the Intertribal Court of Southern California Court of Appeals in favor of their rights.

The tribe, however, has refused to recognize the 2015 ruling, The Eastern Sierra News reported. That resulted in yet another hearing before the tribe's own appeals court on January 29 that addressed whether the tribe has a right to evict the families.

"The Tribal Council members have spent an enormous amount of the tribe’s money on the prosecuting tribal members for occupying family land assignment lots south of the Paiute Palace Casino," a group called Save North Pa Ha wrote on Facebook in advance of the hearing.

Save North Pa Ha consists of the families that were assigned the parcels next to the casino. They have been fighting the expansion for years but have not been able to stop it -- the tribe has continued to promote it in newsletters even after the 2015 ruling.

The tribe is also still trying to evict the families from the land. An attorney for the tribe said the tribal council, rather than the court system, has the authority to determine the use of the parcels, The Eastern Sierra News reported.

The $30 million expansion of the casino is expected to include a larger gaming floor and a hotel. In 2013, tribal citizens voted against a much larger project that would have cost $118 million.

Read More on the Story:
Bishop Paiute tribal land dispute back in court (The Eastern Sierra News February 1, 2018)

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