Eighth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Two Shields v. Wilkinson

Here is the opinion:

Two Shields Opinion

An excerpt:

Appellants Ramona Two Shields and Mary Louise Defender Wilson are Indians with interests in land allotted to them by the United States under the Dawes Act of 1887. Such land is held in trust by the government, but may be leased by allottees. Two Shields and Defender Wilson leased oil and gas mining rights on their allotments to appellee companies and affiliated individuals who won a sealed bid auction conducted by the Board of Indian Affairs (BIA) in 2007. Subsequent to the auction, appellants agreed to terms with the winning bidders, the BIA approved the leases, and appellees sold them for a large profit. Appellants later filed this putative class action in the District of North Dakota, claiming that the United States had breached its fiduciary duty by approving the leases for the oil and gas mining rights, and that the defendant bidders aided, abetted, and induced the United States to breach that duty. The district court concluded that the United States was a required party which could not be joined, but without which the action could not proceed in equity and good conscience, and dismissed the case. Appellants challenge that dismissal. For the reasons stated below, we affirm.

Briefs here.

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