Petitioners, the Honorable Greg Treat, Senate President Pro Tempore, and the Honorable Charles McCall, Speaker of the House, request the Court to assume original jurisdiction to declare that the new tribal gaming compacts between the State and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and between the State and the Kialegee Tribal Town are invalid under Oklahoma law. The Court assumes original jurisdiction. Okla. Const. art. VII, § 4. The Court invokes its publici juris doctrine to assume original jurisdiction here as Petitioners have presented this Court with an issue of public interest in urgent need of judicial determination. Fent v. Contingency Review Bd., 2007 OK 27, ¶ 11, 163 P.3d 512, 521. The Court grants the declaratory relief sought by Petitioners, as the Executive branch did not validly enter into the new tribal gaming compacts with the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Kialegee Tribal Town. Ethics Comm’n of State of Okla. v. Cullison, 1993 OK 37, ¶ 4, 850 P.2d 1069, 1072.
This is a legal malpractice action stemming from legal services and advice Appellees provided Appellants beginning in December 2009. The legal services and advice pertained to Appellants’ planned investment in and development of an Indian gaming casino in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, in conjunction with the Kialegee Tribal Town (the “Tribe”), an Indian tribe.The advice which Appellants contend caused them to sustain damages hinged on whether potential legal or regulatory issues could prevent Appellants from moving forward with the project once development and construction of the site began.
Does Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, 134 S.Ct. 2024 (2014), require the dismissal of a State’s suit to prevent tribal officers from conducting gaming that would be unlawful under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and a state-tribal compact when
• the suit for declaratory and injunctive relief has been brought against tribal officials – not the tribe;
• the gaming will occur in Indian country, on the land of another tribe; and
• the state-tribal compact’s arbitration provision does not require arbitration before filing suit?
Here. Like its earlier decision, today’s amended opinion concludes that the district court erroneously granted the State’s request for a preliminary injunction and held that the State’s complaint, which alleged class III gaming activities on non-Indian lands, failed to state a claim under IGRA.
The Tenth Circuit also reiterated that arbitration provisions in the state’s gaming compact effectively barred Oklahoma from suing tribal officials in federal court for purported violations of the compact. The court remanded the matter to the Northern District of Oklahoma with instructions to vacate the preliminary injunction and to dismiss Oklahoma’s complaint with prejudice.
Also, the court denied the petition for en banc review.
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