Federal Court Affirms Some 638 Contract Denials re: Northern Arapaho Tribe, Remands Others

Here are the materials in Northern Arapaho Tribe v. Lacounte (D. Mont.):

131 NAT Motion for Summary Judgment

140 US Cross Motion

146 NAT Reply

149 US Reply

175 DCT Order

An excerpt:

The Court affirms the BIA’s declinations of NAT’s second and third judicial services proposals, wildlife resources management proposal, and water resources management proposal. The Court reverses the BIA’s declination of NAT’s youth court proposal, to the extent that the declination improperly relied upon post-hoc justifications, and NAT’s first judicial services proposal. We remand these proposals to the BIA for reconsideration.

Prior posts here.

Navajo Nation Prevails in D.C. Circuit over 2014 Annual Funding Agreement Dispute

Here is the opinion in Navajo Nation v. Dept. of Interior:


An excerpt:

The Navajo Nation delivered a proposed funding agreement to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior, during a partial government shutdown. By law, the BIA had 90 days after receipt to act on the proposal or it would be deemed approved. The BIA did not consider the proposal “received” until normal government operations later resumed, and issued a partial declination 90 days after that date. The Nation filed an action to enforce the proposal, contending that the BIA’s declination was untimely. The district court granted summary judgment to the DOI, holding that because the Nation had remained silent when the BIA indicated its position on the deadline, the Nation was equitably estopped from asserting an earlier one. The Nation brought the present appeal. We reverse the judgment.

Briefs here.

Lower court materials here.

Nooksack Tribe Sues Interior for Refusing to Recognize Tribal Council, Fund Contracts

Download(PDF): Complaint for Injunction, Writ of Mandamus, Declaratory Judgment, and Other Relief

BIA Enjoined from Entering into Separate 638 Contracts with Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone

Here are the new materials in Northern Arapaho Tribe v. Lacounte (D. Mont.):








An excerpt:

Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction is GRANTED on the following terms: in accordance with the Gourneau Letter (Doc. 97-1), Defendants shall refrain from approving 638 contracts for multi-tribal, shared services without the approval, via tribal government resolution, of both the Northern Arapaho Tribe and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe.

Prior pleadings here.

Ninth Circuit Dismisses Suit against Tribal Insurers

Here are the materials in Allied World Assurance Company:

CA9 unpublished memorandum

Opening Brief

Allied Answer Brief

York Answer Brief

Reply Brief

Northern Arapaho Tribes Sues Interior to Compel 638 Tribal Court Contract

Here is the complaint in Northern Arapaho Tribe v. United States Department of the Interior (D. Mont.):


An excerpt:

This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief and money damages brought against the United States Department of the Interior (“Department”); its Secretary; and Regional Director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) for violations of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (“ISDEAA”) and regulations promulgated thereunder. The Northern Arapaho Tribe (“NAT” or “Tribe”) submitted to the BIA a contract proposal for judicial services and requested technical assistance, consultation and a waiver of any regulations that the BIA thought could prevent or impede approval. The BIA failed or refused to provide technical assistance, consultation, or the requested waiver and declined the proposal. These failures and the declination violate the ISDEAA and applicable regulations. The Tribe is entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief and damages, plus interest, pursuant to the ISDEAA.

Ninth Circuit Briefs in Hopland Band of Pomo Indians v. Jewell (ISDEAA Law Enforcement Funding)


Hopland Band Opening Brief

Federal Answer Brief

Hopland Reply Brief

Lower court materials here:

21 Tribal Motion for Summary J

32 US Motion for Summary J

32-1 Cruzan Declaration

34 Tribal Response

38 US Reply

55 DCT Order

We posted on this case here and here.

Federal Court Rejects Alturas Effort to Force US to Pay Contract Support Costs

Here are the materials in Alturas Indian Rancheria v. Salazar (E.D. Cal.):

129 Alturas Motion for Contempt

137 US Opposition

139 Alturas Reply

140 US Supplemental Brief

142 DCT Order Denying Motion

An excerpt:

This is a proceeding brought by plaintiff Indian tribe to determine whether the government is in contempt of the court’s January 13, 2012 order in this case (ECF No 126). Plaintiff asserts that the following portion of the court’s order required the government to pay “contract support costs” associated with the “self-determination” contracts it entered into with plaintiff:

The BIA has approved the Tribe’s selfdetermination contract requests for the fiscal years 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, and shall transfer the amounts provided in those requests to the Tribe’s bank account … in accordance with the terms contained in the contract award documents.

Order of January 13, 2012, ECF No. 126 ¶ 2 (“Settlement Agreement and Stipulation for Entry of Judgment and Order”).

For the reasons that follow, plaintiff’s request to enforce the judgment or for a contempt order will be denied.

Our prior post on this case includes materials on the court’s original denial of the government’s motion to dismiss.

Ninth Circuit Holds Interior Does Not Violate ISDEAA When Denying Law Enforcement Funds to PL280 Tribes

Here is the opinion in Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla & Capuño v. Jewell.

From the court’s syllabus:

The panel reversed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians, and the court’s finding that the U.S. Secretary of the Interior violated the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection  when the Secretary declined to enter into a self-determination contract with the Tribe to fund law enforcement on the Los Coyotes Reservation.

The panel held that the Secretary properly rejected the Tribe’s contract request. The panel also held that the Tribe’s reliance on the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act was misplaced because the Act allows the Tribe to take control of existing programs and obtain funds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) would otherwise spend on those programs, but here there was no existing BIA program, and therefore  nothing to transfer to the Tribe. The panel further held that the Administrative Procedure Act did not authorize the court to review the BIA’s allocation of law enforcement funding in Indian Country. Finally, the panel held that the BIA’s funding policy did not violate the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection guarantee.

And the briefs:

Interior Opening Brief

Los Coyotes brief

Interior Reply Brief

Lower court materials here.