Federal Court Dismisses (with Leave to Amend) Indian Child Custody Suit against Mooretown Rancheria

Here are the materials in Hall v. Mooretown Rancheria (E.D. Cal.):

DCT Order Dismissing Complaint, Granting Leave to Amend

Hall Pro Se Complaint

Mooretown Motion to Dismiss

The interesting twist is the court’s treatment of Maxwell v. County of San Diego:

Pro se pleadings are liberally construed. … Unless it is clear that no amendment can cure the defects of a complaint, a pro se plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis is entitled to notice and an opportunity to amend before dismissal. … The court is unable to determine a jurisdictional basis for this action as presently written.  Defendants Mooretown Rancheria, Feather Falls Casino, Gary Archuleta, and Francine McKinley are immune from this suit due to Mooretown Rancheria’s soverign immunity, or extension thereof. Also, any allegation made by plaintiff against defendant Rasmussen is wholly insubstantial and frivolous.

However, in the recent case of Maxwell v. County of San Diego, 697 F.3d 941, 954-955 (9th Cir. 2012), the Ninth Circuit refused to extend Cook v. AVI Casino to actions against tribal officials in their individual capacity. It is possible, although doubtful when viewing the present allegations, that plaintiff could amend the complaint to state individual actions.

Because the court lacks jurisdiction over the action as presently pled, the undersigned will not at this time reach any alternative arguments on the merits as if it had jurisdiction.