Eighth Circuit Holds Lacey Act Does Not Bar Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Members from Fishing on Leech Lake Reservation

Here is the opinion in United States v. Brown.

An excerpt:

Appellees Michael Brown, Jerry Reyes, Marc Lyons, and Frederick Tibbetts were indicted under the Lacey Act which makes it unlawful to “sell . . . any fish . . . taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of . . . any Indian tribal law.” 16 U.S.C. § 3372(a)(1). The indictments alleged that appellees had netted fish for commercial purposes within the boundaries of the Leech Lake Reservation in violation of the Leech Lake Conservation Code, then sold the fish. Appellees are Chippewa Indians, and they moved to dismiss the indictments on the ground that their prosecution violates fishing rights reserved under the 1837 Treaty between the United States and the Chippewa. The district court granted the motions to dismiss. The 1 United States appeals, arguing that its application of the Lacey Act did not infringe on appellees’ fishing rights. We affirm.


US Opening Brief

Appellees Brief

US Reply Brief

Lower court materials here

Eighth Circuit Briefs on Reach of Lacey Act in Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Reservations

Here are the materials in United States v. Brown:

USA Opening Brief

Appellees Consolidated Brief

Reply Brief TK

Lower court materials here.

Federal Judge Agrees with Minnesota Ojibwe Members to Dismiss Lacey Act Prosecutions for Fishing at Red Lake

This sets up an unusual circumstance — conflicting federal district court opinions arising from the same federal investigation. Our post on the prior order from a different judge, who rejected the motion to dismiss in United States v. Holthusen is here. News coverage here.

Here are the materials in United States v. Good (D. Minn.):

43 MJ R&R

46 Objections to MJ R&R

52 Government Response

56 DCT Order Rejecting MJ R&R

Here are the materials in United States v. Brown (D. Minn.):

71 MJ R&R

90 DCT Order Rejecting MJ R&R