Bay Mills appeal to stay the preliminary injunction issued by the district court in Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians v. Bay Mills Indian Community & State of Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community was denied by the Sixth Circuit today. The document is here.
Our previous coverage of this appeal is here, previous coverage of this case is here.
Here is the order:
DCT Preliminary Injunction Order
Bay Mills has until noon to close its casino.
No ruling yet.
A casino in northern Michigan is illegal and should be closed immediately, a lawyer for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians argued in federal court in Kalamazoo today.
The Bay Mills Indian Community opened a small casino in November on land it owns in Vanderbilt in Otsego County. The tribe, which is federally recognized and operates another casino in Brimley in the Upper Peninsula, says it is allowed to open casinos on tribe-owned land.
The Little Traverse Bay Bands sued the Bay Mills tribe in December and requested a preliminary injunction that would halt operations at the Vanderbilt casino.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney this morning heard arguments but made no decision on the injunction. Maloney said he would issue a ruling as soon as possible.
The Vanderbilt casino opened without going through any state or federal approval process. A lawyer for the Bay Mills tribe argued this morning that the land in Vanderbilt was purchased for the betterment of the tribe, making the property Indian land where gambling is allowed.
An attorney for the state of Michigan, which also sued the Bay Mills tribe over the Vanderbilt casino, told Maloney the state is worried about the Bay Mills tribe being allowed to open casinos anywhere it wants without government oversight.
“There is nothing to stop them from expanding,” said Louis Reinwasser, an attorney with the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
The Bay Mills tribe last year purchased property in Flint Township that could be used for a casino if it survives this legal challenge.