Federal Claims Court Dismisses Pre-2011 White Mountain Apach Trust Breach Claims

Here are the materials in White Mountain Apache Tribe v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

9-1 US Partial Motion to Dismiss

16 Response

21 Reply

22 DCT Order

Tucker Act Breach Claim against US over Keepseagle Settlement Dismissed

Here are the materials in Labatte v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

9 US Motion to Dismiss

10 Response

16 Reply

17 Surreply

25 DCT Order

Federal Claims Court Dismisses Crow Creek Sioux Water Rights Takings Claim

Here are the materials in Crow Creek Sioux Tribe v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

6 Motion to Dismiss

12 Response

17 Reply

22 DCT Order

An excerpt:

Plaintiff Crow Creek has sued the United States through the Department of the Interior alleging a Fifth Amendment taking of its reserved water rights. See Winters v. United States, 207 U.S. 564, 576–78, 28 S.Ct. 207, 52 L.Ed. 340 (1908). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Its motion has several bases, including standing, ripeness, and issues related to the statute of limitations. Defendant also contends that the Government’s bare trust relationship with Crow Creek does not provide the “money-mandating” statute or regulation necessary for jurisdiction in this court. See United States v. Testan, 424 U.S. 392, 400, 96 S.Ct. 948, 47 L.Ed.2d 114 (1976).
Plaintiff’s pleadings do not show how damages from an alleged taking could have accrued currently, and oral arguments did not clarify this threshold issue. Nevertheless, plaintiff urged the court to permit sufficient discovery for it to address defendant’s jurisdictional arguments. Given the opportunity to inquire into the extent of defendant’s diversion of its rights in the waters of the Missouri River, the Tribe argued it would be able to definitively establish damages. Plaintiff believes that granting defendant’s dispositive motion at this stage would be premature.
Crow Creek would pursue expensive and time-consuming litigation to find some evidence that defendant has taken an amount of water that the Tribe could have used for another, unnamed purpose. For example, counsel stated during oral arguments that plaintiff could hire experts to submit reports on various methods of obtaining appraised values for those waters. Plaintiff believes that those values would supply evidence of the damages that its case now lacks.
The relationship between Native American tribes and the United States is a special one in this court; plaintiff is entitled to every latitude in its efforts to establish a cause of action. In this case, however, opening discovery in response to defendant’s motion to dismiss would result in a waste of resources for both parties. We must grant defendant’s motion for the reasons described below.

Court of Federal Claims Dismisses Pro Se Treaty Rights Claim

Here are the available materials in Walking Eagle v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

1 Complaint

14 DCT Order

The remaining pleadings are sealed.

An excerpt from the opinion:

Plaintiff, Clarence Walking Eagle, Jr., is a Sioux Native American in the Fort Peck Sioux Tribe and resides on Fort Peck in Brockton, Montana. Appearing pro se, he filed his complaint on August 8, 2016, seeking $10,000,000.00 in compensatory damages under various treaties and statutes due to, among other alleged wrongs, “being unlawfully alienated from the exclusive use and benefit of [his] trust land and exposed to foreign jurisdiction without consent for the benefit of non-Indian concerns for almost ninety-nine years.” Pl.’s Compl. ¶ 48. Plaintiff also seeks $10,000,000.00 in punitive damages and various forms of equitable relief, such as an order restraining state law enforcement agencies from exercising jurisdiction within the boundaries of Fort Peck.
On December 5, 2016, defendant filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, arguing that plaintiff’s claims accrued outside this court’s six-year statute of limitations and that plaintiff is precluded from bringing these claims due to his participation in the Cobell class-action settlement, which is described in more detail below. See Cobell v. Salazar, No. 96-1285(TFH), 2011 WL 10676927 (D.D.C. July 27, 2011); Def.’s Mot. to Dismiss (“Def.’s Mot.”) Ex. 4 (copy of the Cobell settlement agreement). We agree and deem oral argument on this motion unnecessary. Because we find that plaintiff’s claims accrued outside of this court’s six-year statute of limitations and that, in any event, plaintiff is precluded from bringing these claims due to the Cobell settlement agreement, we grant defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Federal Denies Summary Judgment in Quapaw Trust Claims

Here are the materials in Goodeagle v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

147-goodeagle-motion

155-1-us-motion

158-us-response-to-147

161-goodeagle-reply

162-goodeagle-response-to-155

172-us-reply

182-dct-order

An excerpt:

This case involves many significant claims against the United States for breaches of fiduciary duty, among other things. Both parties assert that multiple claims can be resolved through summary judgment. The Quapaw Tribe relies heavily on the claim that an accounting document known as the Quapaw Analysis is binding upon the Government, and thus asserts that its claims grounded on this document should be granted through summary judgment. The Government disputes the binding authority of the Quapaw Analysis entirely and asserts multiple defects in the Quapaw Tribe’s claims that bar it from recovery. As explained below, the Court finds that the Quapaw Analysis is binding as to its factual findings only, but not as to the valuation, extrapolation, and calculation models it contains to calculate damages. In addition, the Court finds no merit in any of the arguments for summary judgment presented by the Government. For these reasons, Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment regarding the Quapaw Analysis is GRANTED IN PART, but in all other respects, the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment are DENIED.

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