California SCT Decides United Auburn Community of the Auburn Rancheria v. Newsom

Here is the opinion:


An excerpt:

This is a case about how California law applies to the delicate juncture of executive power, federalism, and tribal sovereignty. Under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA; 25 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.), the United States Secretary of the Interior (Interior Secretary) may permit casino-style gaming on certain land taken into federal trust for an Indian tribe, so long as the Governor of the state where the land is located concurs. But nowhere in the California Constitution is the Governor granted explicit authority to concur in this cooperative-federalism scheme. We must decide whether the
Governor nonetheless has the authority to concur in the Interior Secretary’s determination to allow gaming on tribal trust land in California.

What we hold is that California law empowers the Governor to concur.

Briefs here.

California SCT Briefs in United Auburn Indian Community of the Auburn Rancheria v. Newsom

(Groban, J., not participating, Fybel, J., assigned justice pro tempore)

  1. Appellant’s Petition for ReviewPDF file type icon Filed on November 22, 2016
  2. Appellant’s Request for Judicial NoticePDF file type icon Filed on November 22, 2016
  3. Appellant’s Request for Judicial NoticePDF file type icon Filed on December 14, 2016
  4. Appellant’s Opening Brief on the MeritsPDF file type icon Filed on March 27, 2017
  5. Appellant’s Request for Judicial NoticePDF file type icon Filed on March 28, 2017
  6. Respondent’s Answer Brief on the MeritsPDF file type icon Filed on June 26, 2017
  7. Appellant’s Reply Brief on the MeritsPDF file type icon Filed on August 23, 2017
  8. Amicus Curiae Brief of The Mooretown Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California and The Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian CommunityPDF file type icon Filed on September 28, 2017
  9. Amicus Curiae Brief of Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi IndiansPDF file type icon Filed on October 10, 2017
  10. Amicus Curiae Brief of North Fork Rancheria of Mono IndiansPDF file type icon Filed on October 10, 2017
  11. Amicus Curiae Brief of Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria, California,PDF file type icon Filed on October 10, 2017
  12. Amicus Curiae Brief of Stand Up For California!PDF file type icon Filed on October 10, 2017
  13. Respondent’s Response to Amicus Curiae BriefPDF file type icon Filed on December 8, 2017
  14. Respondent’s Supplemental BriefPDF file type icon Filed on May 22, 2020


Cert Petition in Jones v. Keitz [Criminal Prosection Arising from Chukchansi Casino Altercation]

Here is the petition:



Question presented:

1. What facts must a plaintiff allege to state a claim for malicious prosecution against a California county and its sheriff under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, especially considering the heightened pleading standard this Court established in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)?
2. When a county sheriff is the country’s chief law enforcement officer, can a plaintiff hold a California County liable under Monell v. New York City Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658,694 (1978), by pleading he was wrongfully prosecuted based on an investigation led by the sheriff?

California COA Reinstates Lawsuit against Tribal Lawyers

Here is the unpublished opinion in Fernandez v. Marston:

Fernandez v Martson

An excerpt:

Two unwitting pawns in a bitter, protracted leadership dispute between rival factions of an Indian tribe, appellants Shawn Fernandez and Brian Auchenbach, took part in a paramilitary raid of the tribe’s casino offices in order to oust a competing tribal faction of possession. The two men believed they had been lawfully deputized as police officers for the tribe, had full legal authority to engage in the operation, and would not face any adverse legal consequences or criminal charges as a result. They believed this, because attorneys for the tribal faction that hired them as police officers assured them it was true.

It wasn’t. Contrary to counsel’s assurances, Fernandez and Auchenbach were arrested by the Madera County Sheriff’s Department, along with the others who participated in the raid, and were charged with 29 felony counts. The two men then brought this lawsuit against the attorneys involved, alleging causes of action for attorney malpractice, negligence and fraud, premised on the attorneys’ false assurances to them concerning the validity of the tribal police force that had hired them and the legality of the armed raid they took part in.

The trial court granted the attorneys’ motion to strike their complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute (Code Civ. Proc., § 425.161). We reverse, because this lawsuit does not arise from any activity protected by that statute.

Madera County Sheriff Suit against Chukchansi Factions Dismissed

Here are the materials in Anderson v. Duran (N.D. Cal.):

160 Anderson Motion for Summary J

191 Duran Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

199 Duran Response

203 Anderson Response

221 Anderson Reply

224 Duran Reply

252 DCT Order

An excerpt:

Plaintiff John Anderson is the Sheriff of Madera County, located outside of Fresno in the Eastern District of California. The specific dispute at issue in this case is but a piece of a larger struggle which began in 2011 for control and direction of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians (“the Tribe”), a federally recognized tribe. The territory of the Tribe rests wholly within Madera County. At its core, this action represents a reaction by the plaintiff Sherriff to orders he has received from certain tribal factions directing him to intercede against their opponents. While the entirety of the case rests on actions taken within the Central District of California, the parties do not dispute venue in this district as will become apparent below.

In August 2013, individuals purporting to represent the tribal council filed suit in tribal court against Anderson and others seeking damages and injunctive relief. The tribal court issued a temporary restraining order directing Anderson, who is not a member of the Tribe, to take certain steps in execution of his official duties as Sheriff. Shortly thereafter, Anderson filed suit in this Court, seeking a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and preliminary injunction against the Tribe, affiliated tribal entities, [5]  individual members of a group purporting to comprise the legitimate tribal council (the “Lewis Faction”), and the judge and clerk of the purported tribal court (the “Lewis Tribunal”). Anderson sought to prevent any of the individuals or entities from enforcing the TRO issued by the Lewis Tribunal and to stay further proceedings against him in that court. This Court conducted a hearing that same day at which representatives for the Lewis Faction as well as from a competing group, the Ayala Faction, participated. These two groups, along with a third contingent known as the Reid Faction, each purport to represent the Tribal entities in this action. At the conclusion of the hearing, Anderson’s TRO was granted and an order to show cause issued as to his application for a preliminary injunction. The terms of the TRO were later incorporated into a preliminary injunction, which remains in effect.

Anderson now moves for summary judgment, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the Tribal entities and the individual defendants. The Lewis/Reid Faction, on behalf of the Tribal entities and individual defendants, opposes that motion and simultaneously moves for judgment on the pleadings [6]  or, in the alternative, summary judgment. The Tribal Court defendants, Jack Duran and Donna Howard, join the Lewis/Reid Faction’s opposition and motion. The Ayala Faction, on behalf of the Tribal entities, joins Anderson’s motion and opposes the Lewis/Reid Faction’s counter-motion.

For the reasons set forth below, Anderson’s motion is granted as to the individual defendants. His motion is denied, and the case is dismissed, as to the Tribal entities on the basis of sovereign immunity. The Lewis/Reid Faction’s motion is denied.

We posted previously on this matter here.


Federal Court Dismisses Chukchansi Suit over Missing Bags of Money

Here are the materials in Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians v. Tan (E.D. Cal.):

13-1 Ayala Faction Motion to Dismiss

14 Lewis Faction Response to Order to Show Cause

28 DCT Order

Prior posts on this suit are here and here.

Federal Court Denies TRO to Lewis Faction in Chukchansi Dispute

Here is the order:

11 DCT Order Denying TRO

Complaint and motion are here.