Federal Court Declines to Dismiss Copyright Infringement Action against Tribal Official

Here are the materials in Marlon Blackwell Architects PA v. HBG Design Inc. (E.D. Ark.):

1 Complaint

9 HBG Motion to Dismiss

11 Berrey Motion to Dismiss

13 Saracen Development Motion to Dismiss

17 Response

33 DCT Order

Delaware Federal Court Affirms Bankruptcy Act Did Not Abrogate Tribal Immunity

Here are the materials in In re Money Centers Inc. (D. Del.):

15 Appellant Brief

16 Appellee Brief

17 Thunderbird Appellee Brief

18 Reply

23. Memorandum Affirming BR Court 3-29-18

114. Opinion Granting QCA MTD 2-28-17

Kansas v. NIGC Cert Petition


Cert Petition

Question presented:

Whether NIGC legal opinions that determine whether Indian lands are eligible for gaming under IGRA are reviewable final agency actions.

Lower court materials here.

Tenth Circuit Holds NIGC Indian Lands Opinion Letters Not Final Agency Action

Here is the opinion in State of Kansas v. Zinke.

An excerpt:

The question in this case is whether a legal opinion letter issued by the Acting General Counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission (“NIGC”) regarding the eligibility of Indian lands for gaming constitutes “final agency action” subject to judicial review. In response to a request from the Quapaw Tribe, the NIGC Acting General Counsel issued a legal opinion letter stating that the Tribe’s Kansas trust land was eligible for gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”). The State of Kansas and the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Cherokee, Kansas, filed suit, arguing that the letter was arbitrary, capricious, and erroneous as a matter of law. The district court concluded that the letter did not constitute reviewable final agency action under IGRA or the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”).

Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm. IGRA’s text, statutory scheme, legislative history, and attendant regulations demonstrate congressional intent to preclude judicial review of legal opinion letters. Further, the Acting General Counsel’s letter does not constitute final agency action under the APA because it has not determined any rights or obligations or produced legal consequences. In short, the letter merely expresses an advisory, non-binding opinion, without any legal effect on the status quo ante.

Briefs here.

Federal Bankruptcy Court Holds Bankruptcy Act Doesn’t Abrogate Tribal Immunity, Tribal Corporations Immune

Here are the materials in In re Money Centers of America (D. Del. Bkrcy.):

431 Order

An excerpt:

As set forth above, the Court finds that: (i) this is a facial attack on the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction allowing the Court to review various documents attached to the pleadings; (ii) both QCA and Thunderbird are sufficiently related to their respective Indian tribes to enjoy the tribes’ sovereign immunity; and (iii) neither Section 106(a) nor Section 101(27) abrogates QCA’s and Thunderbird’s sovereign immunity. Thus, Thunderbird’s motion to dismiss will be granted.

Furthermore, as to QCA only, the Court finds that it does not have sufficient information to determine whether there was a limited waiver of QCA’s sovereign immunity, to the extent of recoupment only, as to QCA’s claims. Although, at most recoupment would be limited to the amount of QCA’s claims against the Money Center’s estate

Quapaw Casino proceeding:

66 QCA Motion to Dismiss

67 Trustee Opposition

69 Reply

Thunderbird (Absentee Shawnee) proceeding:

6 Trustee Opposition

7 Thunderbird Brief

Federal Denies Summary Judgment in Quapaw Trust Claims

Here are the materials in Goodeagle v. United States (Fed. Cl.):








An excerpt:

This case involves many significant claims against the United States for breaches of fiduciary duty, among other things. Both parties assert that multiple claims can be resolved through summary judgment. The Quapaw Tribe relies heavily on the claim that an accounting document known as the Quapaw Analysis is binding upon the Government, and thus asserts that its claims grounded on this document should be granted through summary judgment. The Government disputes the binding authority of the Quapaw Analysis entirely and asserts multiple defects in the Quapaw Tribe’s claims that bar it from recovery. As explained below, the Court finds that the Quapaw Analysis is binding as to its factual findings only, but not as to the valuation, extrapolation, and calculation models it contains to calculate damages. In addition, the Court finds no merit in any of the arguments for summary judgment presented by the Government. For these reasons, Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment regarding the Quapaw Analysis is GRANTED IN PART, but in all other respects, the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment are DENIED.

Prior postings here.

Kansas’ Challenge to Quapaw Trust Land Acquisition Dismissed

Here are the materials in State of Kansas ex rel. Schmidt v. National Indian Gaming Commission (D. Kan.):

43 US Motion to Dismiss

51 Quapaw Motion to Dismiss

56 Opposition to 51

60 Opposition to 43

68 Quapaw Reply

88 US Reply

91 DCT Order

Federal Court Dismisses Cherokee County Challenge to Quapaw Casino

Here are the materials in Board of Commissioners of Cherokee County Kansas v. Jewell (D. D.C.):

DCT Order Dismissing Cherokee County Suit

Interior Motion to Dismiss

Cherokee County Opposition

Cherokee County Motion for Summary J

Interior Opposition

News coverage here.

Goodeagle v. U.S. — Complaint for Trust Damages for Mismanagement of Quapaw Assets

Here is that complaint, filed in the Court of Federal Claims: Goodeagle v. US Complaint

An excerpt:

This is a lawsuit for money damages arising from Defendant’s breach of fiduciary and trust obligations owing to Plaintiffs, Grace M. Goodeagle, Thomas Charles Bear, Edwina Faye Busby, James E. Gilmore, Jean Ann Lambert, Florence Whitecrow Mathews, Ardina Revard Moore, and Fran Wood, and the class they represent, all of whom are enrolled Members of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma (O-Gah-Pah), a federally recognized Indian nation. The claims arise from Defendant’s failure to properly manage amounts due and owing to the Quapaw Tribal members under leases, permits, and agreements and government actions or inactions relating to certain real property, personal property (including chat severed from the surface and mineral estate by mining), mineral rights, as well as other sums due and owing to them by operation of law. These claims also arise from Defendant’s serious and sustained mismanagement of the Quapaw Tribal members’ Individual Indian Money Accounts, trust accounts, and other monetary assets. These claims also arise from Defendant’s similar mismanagement of the natural resources and other assets on Quapaw Tribal members’ trust/restricted lands, including but not limited to the mismanagement arising from federally managed mining activities on Quapaw Tribal members’ land, resulting in the destruction of natural resources and the environment, including the ability of Tribal members to use the land and other resources for grazing or agricultural or any other economically beneficial purpose.

An accounting of Defendant’s historical management of Quapaw trust assets — as set forth in a report known as the Quapaw Analysis — recently was completed and accepted as final by the Office of Historical Trust Accounting of the United States Department of the Interior. That accounting report, the product of a settlement of a previous suit for an equitable accounting, identifies and details Defendant’s mismanagement of numerous sampled Tribal and individual Tribal member trust assets, including but not limited to Defendant’s failure to collect monies due and owing under leases, permits, and agreements for the Quapaw Tribe and for the restricted interest holders of 13 allotments and of the class they represent, the degradation of the natural resources on the land and the environment, and the waste and dissipation of other trust assets, all of which was the result of mismanagement and negligence by the Defendant. The substantive law governing the United States’ trust responsibilities that were breached in this case may be fairly interpreted as mandating monetary compensation for damages sustained as a result of the breach of those duties.