D.C. Circuit Briefs in Amador County v. Dept. of Interior (Amador II) — Buena Vista Rancheria Motion to Intervene


Buena Vista Opening Brief

Amador County Brief

Buena Vista Reply Brief

DOI Letter

UPDATE: oral argument audio here.

Lower court materials:

59-1 Buena Vista Rancheria Motion to Intervene

61 Amador County Opposition

62 Buena Vista Reply

65 DCT Order Denying Motion to Intervene

Materials in related cases:

Materials in Amador I.

Materials in Friends of Amador County v. Jewell.

Ninth Circuit Affirms Rule 19 Dismissal in Friends of Amador County v. Jewell

Here is the unpublished opinion. An excerpt:

The district court concluded next that joinder would not be feasible because the Tribe enjoys sovereign immunity as a federally recognized Indian tribe. Appellants challenge the validity of the Tribe’s federally recognized status but concede its existence. Indeed, the Tribe has been federally recognized since at least 1985, see Indian Tribal Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services, 50 Fed. Reg. 6055-02 (Feb. 13, 1985), and it thus has “the immunities and privileges available to other federally acknowledged Indian tribes by virtue of their government-to-government relationship with the United States,” Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the Board of Indian Affairs, 77 Fed. Reg. 47,868-01 (Aug. 10, 2012).

Briefs and link to oral argument audio here.

Lower court materials here.

Ninth Circuit Materials in Friends of Amador County v. Salazar (Jewell)


Friends Opening Brief

Tribe Answer Brief

Friends Reply Brief

Oral argument audio here.

Lower court materials here.

AmLawDaily Coverage of Foxwoods Restructuring Deal


An excerpt:

Though Yoon won’t say if Weil is handling other Indian casino matters, there is likely be more such work for some work to snap up in the not-too-distant future. Moody’s downgraded its ratings on several Indian-owned casino bonds earlier this year, issuing a “probability of default” rating on $200 million worth of notes tied to a Sacramento  casino operated by the Buena Vista band of the Me-Wuk Indian tribe and a similar warning on $300 million in notes connected to a Washington State casino operated by the Snoqualmie Tribe.

Federal Court Declines to Reconsider Rule 19 Dismissal of Friends of Amador County Challenge to Gaming Compact

Here are the updated materials in Friends of Amador County v. Salazar (E.D. Cal.):

Friends Motion to Amend Judgment

Tribe’s Opposition

DCT Order Denying Friends’ Motion

Here are the earlier materials.

Challenge to Buena Vista Mi-Wuk Compact Dismissed under Rule 19

Here are the materials in Friends of Amador County v. Salazar (E.D. Cal.):

DCT Order Dismissing FAC Complaint

Tribal Motion to Dismiss

FAC Opposition to Tribal Motion


FAC Motion for Summary J

D.C. Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Amador County Challenge to Gaming Compact Approval re: Buena Vista Me-Wuk

Here is today’s opinion in Amador County v. Salazar. Briefs are here. Lower court materials are here.

An excerpt:

Pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians entered into a compact with the state of California to engage in gaming on its tribal land and then petitioned the Secretary of the Interior for approval of that compact. Under the Act, “[i]f the Secretary does not approve or disapprove a compact . . . [within] 45 days . . . the compact shall be considered to have been approved by the Secretary, but only to the extent the compact is consistent with the provisions of” the Act. 25 U.S.C. § 2710(d)(8)(C). In this case, the Secretary took no action within forty-five days, thus allowing the compact to become effective. Amador County, in which the Buena Vista Tribe’s land is located, challenged the Secretary’s “no-action” approval, claiming that the land fails to qualify as “Indian Land”—a statutory requirement for gaming. Although the district court rejected the Secretary’s argument that Amador County lacked standing, it dismissed the suit, finding the Secretary’s inaction unreviewable under several provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. Amador County now appeals. We agree with the district court that the County has standing, but because we conclude that the Secretary’s inaction is in fact reviewable, we reverse and remand for the district court to consider the merits in the first instance.

Opening Briefs in Amador County v. Salazar — County Challenge to Tribal-State Compact

Here are the two opening briefs:

Amador County Appellant Brief

Interior Appellee Brief

Judges SENTELLE, TATEL, and EDWARDS have been assigned the case.

Lower court materials are here.

Federal Court Dismisses California from Private Challenge to Buena Vista Rancheria Gaming Compact

Interesting decision, in that the court found the private plaintiff could avoid California’s Eleventh Amendment immunity, but dismissed anyway for a lack of a cause of action in IGRA to sue over gaming compacts.

Here are the materials in Friends of Amador County v. Salazar (E.D. Cal.):

DCT Order Dismissing California

California Motion to Dismiss

Opposition to Cal. Motion

Cal. Reply