First Circuit Briefs in Littlefield v. Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribe


Mashpee Brief

Littlefield Answer Brief

Mashpee Reply

Prior posts here.

Additional Amended Final Judgments in Aquinnah Wampanoag Gaming Case

Here are the additional materials in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) (D. Mass.):

201 Amended Final Judgment

205 State Motion to Amend

207 Tribe Motion to Stay Judgment

208 Opposition to 205

215 Second Amended Judgment

217 Opposition to 207

218 DCT Order Denying 207

221 Tribe Motion to Amend

227 State Response

230 Third Amended Judgment

Prior post here.

Federal Judge Issues Final Judgment for Town of Aquinnah on Remand from First Circuit

Here are the materials in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) (D. Mass.):

181 Town Motion for Final Judgment

183 Community Assn Motion

185 Tribe Opposition

196 Tribe Surreply

197 Community Assn Reply

198 State Brief

200 DCT Order

Readers might recall that the circuit instructed the district court to “ent[er] judgment in favor of the Tribe” (link to panel materials here). Here is the district court’s answer to that order:

In summary, the Tribe could have appealed those portions of the judgment that provided that it must comply with state and local permitting and other regulatory  requirements. Instead, it only appealed those portions addressing gaming issues. An amended final judgment in favor of the Tribe as to the gaming issues is of course required. The remainder of the judgment, however, will be reinstated in substance. If the Tribe seeks to construct and operate a gaming facility, it need not comply with state and local gaming laws, but it must comply with all state and local laws and regulations of general applicability to the construction and operation of a commercial building.

Federal Court Rejects Martha’s Vineyard Landowners Suit for Compensation after Failed Land Disputes with Tribe, State, Everyone Else

Here are the materials in DeCoulos v. Town of Aquinnah (D. Mass.):

15 town of aquinnah motion to dismiss

20 community association motion to dismiss

24 opposition

35 dct order

Interior Loses Mashpee Wampanoag Trust Acquisition Challenge

Here are the materials in Littlefield v. Dept. of Interior (D. Mass.):

56 Interior Motion for Summary J

59 Plaintiffs Motion for Summary J

69 City of Taunton Amicus Brief

81 DOI Supplemental Brief

82 Plaintiffs Supplemental Brief

83 USET Amicus Brief

86 Plaintiffs Response to 83

87 DCT Order

Students of Color (incl. Natives) Denied Intervention in Anti-Affirmative Action Suit Targeting Harvard

Here are the materials in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (D. Mass.):

31 Motion to Intervene

37 Opposition

38 Harvard Response

42 Reply

52 DCT Order on Intervention

Massachusetts Gaming Claims against Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Survive Motions to Dismiss; Counterclaims Do, Too

Here are the updated materials in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) (D. Mass.):

65 Massachusetts Opposition to Rule 19 Motion

67 Aquinnah-Gay Head Community Opposition to 11th Amendment Motion to Dismiss

71 Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Reply in Support of Rule 19 Motion

72 Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss on Immunity Grounds

77 Massachusetts Motion to Dismiss

86 Massachusetts Officials Motion to Dismiss

87 Wampanoag Tribe Opposition to Massachusetts Immunity Motion

88 Massachusetts Reply

95 DCT Order Denying Motions to Dismiss

An excerpt:

This lawsuit involves a dispute between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a federally recognized Indian tribe concerning regulatory jurisdiction over civil gaming on Indian lands on Martha’s Vineyard. The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and related entities have taken steps to commence commercial gaming operations on tribal lands without a license from the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth contends that operating gaming facilities without such a license would violate a 1983 settlement agreement that subjects the lands in question to state civil and criminal jurisdiction (and thus subjects them to state laws regulating gaming). Count 1 of the complaint alleges breach of contract, and Count 2 seeks a declaratory judgment.

The Commonwealth filed suit in state court on December 2, 2013. On December 30, 2013, the Tribe removed the action to this Court on the basis of federal-question and supplemental jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1367. On August 6, 2014, the Court granted motions to intervene by the Town of Aquinnah and the Aquinnah/Gay Head Community Association (“AGHCA”). The Tribe has moved to dismiss the AGHCA complaint on the basis of sovereign immunity and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; it has further moved to dismiss all three complaints (with leave to amend) for failure to join the United States as a required party.

On October 24, 2014, the Tribe filed an amended answer that included a counterclaim against the Commonwealth and counterclaims against three third-party defendants (all of whom are officials of the Commonwealth). Plaintiff and third-party defendants have moved to dismiss the counterclaims on the grounds of sovereign immunity (as to the counterclaims against the Commonwealth) and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

For the reasons stated below, the motions of the Tribe will be denied and the motion of counterclaim-defendants will be granted in part and denied in part.

We posted motions to dismiss here. Materials on the state court removal and remand motions here. Complaint here.