Court leaves door open for Stockbridge-Munsee land claim
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals left the door open for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community of Wisconsin to pursue a land claim in New Jersey.

The tribe attempted to intervene in a lawsuit filed over the historic Brotherton Reservation. The Unalachtigo Band of Nanticoke-Lenni Lenape Nation, a non-federally recognized tribe, laid claim to the land.

A federal judge dismissed the Unalachtigo lawsuit for lack of standing and denied the Stockbridge-Munsee motion. On appeal, the 3rd Circuit said the Stockbridge-Munsee motion should not have been rejected.

The Brotherton Reservation was established for a tribe of Delaware Indians in 1705 and was sold by the state of New Jersey in 1802. The sale occurred without Congressional authorization.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has said the Stockbridge-Munsee Community is the successor-in-interest to the Brotherton Delaware Tribe. The Stockbridge-Munsee Community could pursue a land claim for the Brotherton Reservation but the tribe has opted not to file a suit at this time.

Get the Story:
Tribal group can still seek to prove rights to Burlco land (The Philadelphia Inquirer 5/26)

3rd Circuit Decision:
Unalachtigo Band of Nanticoke-Lenni Lenape Nation v. Corzine (May 25, 2010)