Latest District Court Memorandum and Order in Duluth v. Fond Du Lac

07 28 15 Nelson Decision

Given the significant weight that is to be placed on this factor, the Court finds that it tips the balance in favor of granting the Band retrospective relief under Rule 60(b)(6). Although (1) the parties voluntarily agreed to the Consent Decree, (2) the NIGC initially endorsed the Agreements, and (3) the NIGC may lack authority to punish the Band for its compliance with the Consent Decree, those factors are outweighed by (4) the strong congressional intent that tribes be the primary beneficiaries of gaming revenues, (5) the fact that the Band’s obligation to pay rent under the Agreements is now considered—by the agency tasked with making such determinations—to violate that intent, and (6) the fact that the City was aware of the NIGC’s changing viewpoint on the subject matter. Accordingly, the Band is relieved from its obligation to pay to the City the rent withheld in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

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