FTCA Suit Brought against Federal Bureau of Prisons for Death of Andrea Circle Bear

Here is the complaint in LeBeau v. United States (D.S.D.):

We posted news coverage here way back when. Ms. Circle Bear was the first federal prisoner to die of COVID in 2020. According to the complaint, she was 8 months pregnant in March 2020 when the government decided to transfer her to a prison in Texas, where she immediately contracted the virus. She gave birth while intubated.

Trust Breach Claims for Compensation re: Flooding of Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation Dismissed

Here are the materials in LeBeau v. United States (D. S.D.):

11 US Motion to Dismiss

14 Opposition

17 Reply

18 DCT Order

An excerpt:

Plaintiffs’ claims accrued decades ago and are therefore barred by the statute of limitations. As this court stated in 2013, it is sympathetic to the claims made by plaintiffs. But even sympathetic claims must comply with jurisdictional requirements. Because there is no valid waiver of sovereign immunity, this court has no jurisdiction to entertain this suit. Plaintiffs may deserve compensation, but that compensation must come from Congress.

Prior suit materials are here.

Federal Court Dismisses Challenge to Cheyenne River Sioux Equitable Compensation Act

Here are the materials in LeBeau v. United States (D. S.D.):

1 Complaint

17 US Motion to Dismiss

20 Opposition

25 US Reply

32 DCT Order Dismissing Complaint

An excerpt:

Plaintiffs brought suit against the United States alleging claims for breach of trust obligations, breach of fiduciary duty, and accounting. The relief sought by plaintiffs is limited to declaratory and equitable relief. The United States moves to dismiss plaintiffs’ complaint in its entirety, arguing plaintiffs lack standing, among other things. Plaintiffs resist the motion. For the following reasons, the motion is granted, and plaintiffs’ claims are dismissed without prejudice.


Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Members Sue over Lake Oahe Dam Taking

Here is the complaint in LeBeau v. United States (D. S.D.):

LeBeau v US Complaint


Plaintiffs Casimir L. LeBeau, Clarence Mortenson, Raymond Charles Handboy, Sr., and Freddie Lebeau (collectively “Plaintiffs”), on behalf of themselves and the putative classes set forth below, bring this Complaint against the United States of America (“Defendant”), and bring this claim based upon an unlawful taking without just compensation of thousands of acres of land owned by Plaintiffs and other individuals. Plaintiffs seek declaratory relief ordering Defendant to perform its fiduciary duties as trustee of the individual Plaintiffs’ trust monies pursuant to federal law and common law trust principles, including an accounting of the monies owed to Plaintiffs and the putative classes.


1. Nearly seventy years ago, Congress enacted a law authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a number of water control projects. Among these projects was the Pick Sloan Missouri River Basin Project (the “Pick-Sloan Project”), which involved the construction of six hydroelectric dams in the upper Missouri river basin. One of these dams, the Oahe Dam, impounds Lake Oahe, an artificial reservoir stretching almost the entire distance from Pierre, South Dakota, to Bismarck, North Dakota.
2. In building the Oahe Dam and creating Lake Oahe, the United States flooded a vast area of North and South Dakota, including over 104,420 acres of land, some of which was owned by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (the “Tribe”) and some of which was owned in allotments or in fee by individual members of the Tribe (the “Individual Landowners”). The Individual Landowners were required to evacuate their homes and abandon their land and its valuable resources to make way for an energy project benefiting only those downriver.
3. The Oahe Dam destroyed more Indian land than any other United States public works project. Over 180 families – 30% of the tribal population – were forced to leave their homes and sever the profound cultural connection that they had to the land.