Cert Petition in McMahon v. Chemehuevi Indian Tribe

Here is the petition:



Questions presented:

1. Under Barker v. Harvey, 181 U.S. 481 (1901) and United States v. Title Insurance & Trust Co., 265 U.S. 472 (1924), did the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe’s failure to file a land claim under the 1851 Act extinguish any of the Tribe’s rights as to Section 36 as conveyed to the State of California for school purposes under the Enabling Act of 1853?

2. Given that this Court has found that states take title to property under the Enabling Acts subject to aboriginal title only where a preexisting treaty has preserved the aboriginal title, does the absence of any Chemehuevi Indian Tribe reservation at the time Section 36 was conveyed to the State of California under the Enabling Act of 1853 bar any claim by the Tribe or its members that Section 36 constitutes Indian country?

3. Does the Appropriation Doctrine bar any claim by the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe or its members that the 1907 Secretarial Order could transfer Section 36 to the Tribe after the property had already been conveyed to the State of California for school purposes under the Enabling Act of 1853?

Lower court materials here.


Cert Opp


Ninth Circuit Briefs in Yakama v. County Criminal Jurisdiction Appeal

Here are the briefs in Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation v. City of Toppenish:

Opening Brief

Appellee Brief




Lower court materials here.

Mille Lacs Ojibwe Law Enforcement Suit against Mille Lacs County

Here are the materials in Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe v. County of Mille Lacs (D. Minn.):

1 Complaint

17 County Answer + Counterclaim

27 MTD Counterclaim

35 Response

38 Reply

46 DCT Order Dismissing Counterclaims

72 Magistrate Letter

73 Objection to Letter

76 DCT Order

Ninth Circuit Partially Reinstates Section 1983 Claim against San Bernardino County Law Enforcement

Here is the opinion in Chemehuevi Indian Tribe v. McMahon.

An excerpt:

It is undisputed that the Sheriff cannot enforce regulatory traffic laws in “Indian country.” See 18 U.S.C. § 1162; 28 U.S.C. § 1360. “Indian country” includes, but is not limited to, land within the boundaries of a reservation. 18 U.S.C. § 1151. The issues for decision today are (1) whether the individual Tribe members and the Tribe can challenge the citations through a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action; and, if so, (2) whether Section 36 is Indian country. We hold that the individual plaintiffs, but not the Tribe, can challenge the citations under § 1983. And, we conclude that all the citations occurred within Indian country. We therefore vacate the district court’s judgment dismissing the complaint as to the individuals but affirm the judgment as to the Tribe.

Briefs here.

Yakama Nation Prevails over Klickitat County over Indian Country Fireworks Sales

Here are the materials in Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation v. Klickitat County (E.D. Wash.):

1 Complaint

3 Motion for TRO

4 Motion to Expedite

8 County Response

10 DCT Order Granting TRO

21 Tribe Motion for Summary Judgment

23 County Response

24 Reply

29 DCT Order

New Student Scholarship on Indian Country Abortion Access

Heidi L. Guzmán has published “Roe on the Rez: The Case for Expanding Abortion Access on Tribal Land” in the Columbia Journal of Race and Law.

Here is the abstract:

While the courts have codified and reaffirmed the right to abortion, some state legislatures have enacted increasingly burdensome restrictions on abortion. In a number of states, there is only one abortion clinic available for thousands of people. This Note explores whether Native American tribes, as sovereigns, may establish holistic reproductive health clinics on tribal land. It analyzes abortion law in Wisconsin under the framework of Public Law 280 jurisprudence to determine that clinics in Indian Country would not be subject to state abortion regulations. This Note also explores the practical implications of a Native-owned-and-operated clinic, and concludes that these clinics would greatly increase access to safe reproductive health care for Native and non-Native people.

Federal Court Grants Habeas Relief to State Prisoner for Crime Committed on Indian Lands [Public Law 280]

Here are the materials in Berry v. Baca (D. Nev.):

1-1 Habeas Petition

7 Nevada Motion to Dismiss

10 DCT Order Granting Motion

13 Motion for Relief from Judgment

18 Nevada Response

22 Reply

23 DCT Order Granting Petition