Federal Circuit Rejects Shinnecock Nation’s Judicial Takings Claims re: Dismissal of Land Claims under Sherrill

Here is the opinion in Shinnecock Indian Nation v. United States.

An excerpt:

Accordingly, we affirm the United States Court of Federal Claims’ determination that the Nation’s breach of trust claims are not yet ripe for review, vacate its ruling that it lacked jurisdiction over those claims, and remand the case with instructions to dismiss the breach of trust claims without prejudice.


A similar analysis applies here. The Nation alleges that in applying the doctrine of laches to bar its land claim, the district court improperly “took away the Nation’s legal right to sue for compensation for its stolen land.” The Court of Federal Claims, however, is without authority to adjudicate the Nation’s claim that it suffered a compensable taking at the hands of the district court. See Allustiarte, 256 F.3d at 1352; Joshua, 17 F.3d at 380. The court has no jurisdiction to review the decisions “of district courts and cannot entertain a taking[s] claim that requires the court to scrutinize the actions of another tribunal.” Innovair, 632 F.3d at 1344 (alteration in original) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). As the government correctly notes, “[d]eciding whether the district court’s judgment resulted in an unconstitutional taking of the Nation’s property would require the Court of Federal Claims to review the judgment and pass on its correctness.” Just as the plaintiffs’ takings claim in Allustiarte was an improper collateral attack on the judgment of the bankruptcy courts, the Nation’s proposed judicial takings claim is an attempt to mount an improper collateral attack on the judgment of the district court.

Briefs here. Lower court materials here.

Second Circuit Rejects Schaghticoke Land Claims

Here is the unpublished opinion in Schaghticoke Tribal Nation v. Kent School Corp. Inc.:

Schaghticoke CA2 Opinion

An excerpt:

Ultimately, the district court concluded that the evidence submitted by STN was insufficient to satisfy the Montoya standard requiring that the group be “united in a community under one leadership or government.” Montoya, 180 U.S. at 266. In so deciding, it relied on DOI’s conclusions that STN had presented insufficient direct evidence of a distinct tribal community from 1920 to 1967 and after 1996, and of political authority  over tribal members from 1801 to 1875 and after 1996. It was appropriate for the district  court to rely on the DOI’s factual findings. To hold to the contrary would require the district court to conduct the independent, complex evidentiary hearing that this Court sought to avoid in Golden Hill.

Briefs and lower court materials here.

Federal Court Dismisses Billion Dollar Shinnecock Land Claims Suit

Here are the materials in Shinnecock Indian Nation v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

7 US Motion to Dismiss

10 Shinnecock Response

13 US Reply

Shinnecock Indian Nation v. United States, No. 12-836, Slip Op. (Fed. Cl. Aug. 29, 2013)

Complaint here.

Second Circuit Hears Onondaga Land Claims Oral Arguments Today at New York Law School

Here is the NYLS website with the description of the appellate panel. [not sure why the link says moot court, because it seems all too real]

Here are the briefs:

Opening Brief


Amicus Brief [drafted by MSU ILPC]

State’s Brief

City of Syracuse and Corporate Appellee’s Brief

Tribal Reply

Briefs are also here.

Miccosukee Tribe Loses Non-Intercourse Act Claim in State Eminent Domain Case

Here is the opinion in Miccosukee Tribe of Florida v. Dept. of Environmental Protection (Fla. App.).

Here is an excerpt:

The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida petitions for a writ of certiorari to quash the trial court’s order that denied its motion for final summary judgment in an eminent domain proceeding based on the Tribe’s alleged sovereign immunity and/or the provisions of the Federal Nonintercourse Act, 25 U.S.C. § 177. In response, the Department of Environmental Protection contends that the three parcels of land at issue, which the Tribe purchased on the open market, are not protected by either the Tribe’s sovereignty or the Nonintercourse Act. Because the Tribe has not shown that the trial court’s ruling departs from the essential requirements of the law, we deny the petition.