California COA Affirms $49M Judgment in Inter-Tribal Contract Dispute

Here is the opinion in Yavapai-Apache Nation v. La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians:

Yavapai-Apache Nation v La Posta Band


Yavapai-Apache Nation Reply Brief

La Posta Opening Brief

Yavapai-Apache Nation Response Brief

La Posta Reply Brief

An excerpt:

This appeal arises from a contract dispute between two Indian tribes: Yavapai Apache Nation (YAN) and La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians (La Posta). YAN is an Arizona-based tribe with about 2,400 members, and La Posta is a California based tribe with about 15 adult members. In the parties’ contract, La Posta promised to repay more than $23 million to YAN for funds borrowed to develop a casino that later proved unsuccessful. The parties waived sovereign immunity in their contract.


In the final judgment, the superior court awarded YAN $48,893,407.97 on its contract claim, and entered judgment against La Posta on its declaratory relief claim based on the court’s finding this claim was not ripe. Both parties filed appeals from this judgment. For the reasons explained, we find no reversible error and affirm the judgment in its entirety.