Seventh Circuit Affirms Wells Fargo v. Lake of the Woods; Remands to Allow Wells Fargo to Amend Complaint for Other Relief

Here is today’s opinion. An excerpt:

We conclude that the Indenture constitutes a management contract under IGRA and that, as a condition of its validity, it should have been submitted to the Chairman of the NIGC for approval prior to its implementation. The parties’ failure to secure such approval renders the Indenture void in its entirety and thus invalidate s the Corporation’s waiver of sovereign immunity. The district court therefore correctly determined that it was without jurisdiction with respect to Wells Fargo’s motion for the appointment of a receiver.

We further conclude that the district court should have permitted Wells Fargo leave to file an amended complaint to the extent that it presented claims for legal and equitable relief in connection with the bond transaction on its own behalf and on behalf of the bondholder. Upon the filing of such a complaint, the district court should address the issue of whether, now that the Indenture has been determined to be void, Wells Fargo has standing to litigate claims on behalf of the bondholder. The court also must determine whether the collateral documents, when read separately or together, waive the sovereign immunity of the Corporation with respect to any such claims. If such a waiver is found, the court may proceed to determine the merits of those claims.

Lower courts briefing.

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