Caballero v. United States Cert Petition


Cert Petition

Questions presented:

  1. Whether the Trial Court and the Court of Appeals committed prejudicial error in barring/blocking a Native American tribe from pursuing in rem / quiet title remedies on lands promised and granted to them by the USA from that tribe, but stolen by another tribe based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to the non-justiciable political question doctrine.
  1. Whether or not, the Court committed prejudicial error by blocking a native American tribe from pursuing an in rem/quiet title/stolen tribal lands case, on the basis of USA sovereign immunity tribal sovereign immunity.
  2. Whether the waiver by the United States of America of its sovereign immunity over quiet title claims
    impermissibly discriminates in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment against Native American tribes having quiet title claims that are barred by the Native American lands express exceptions set forth in 28 USC section 2409a.
  3. Whether the Trial Court and the Court of Appeals committed prejudicial air in barring/blocking the
    Indian tribes pursuit of Land title claims constitutes an impermissible denial of the right to access to
    courts as guaranteed by the First Amendment right to petition the court government for redress of grievances.

Lower court materials here.

Federal Court Dismisses Klickitat County’s Challenge to Yakama Reservation Land Status, PL280 Retrocession

Here are the materials in Klickitat County v. Department of the Interior (E.D. Wash.):

9 US Motion to Dismiss

10 Response

12 US Reply

14 DCT Order

Tenth Circuit Briefs in Northern New Mexicans Protecting Land Water and Rights v. United States


Opening Brief

Federal Answer Brief


Lower court materials here.

Ninth Circuit Rejects Alaska’s Effort to Condemn Alaska Native Allotments

Here are the materials in State of Alaska v. United States:

CA9 Opinion

An excerpt:

The panel affirmed the district court’s dismissal of quiet title and declaratory judgment claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and vacated the dismissal of a condemnation claim in a case involving a land dispute between the State of Alaska and two Alaska Natives, Agnes and Anne Purdy, concerning ownership of rights-of-way for four public trails that cross the Purdys’ land.

The Purdys acquired ownership of the parcels in question under the Alaska Native Allotment Act through allotments by the federal government. The State of Alaska contended that the allotments were subject to rights-of-way for four trails. Federal statute R.S. 2477, repealed in 1976, granted rights of way over public lands; it was self-executing; acceptance of a grant was determined by state law; and under Alaska law an R.S. 2477 grant could be accepted through public use.

Addressing the State of Alaska’s Quiet Title Act claim, the panel held that the State of Alaska’s quiet title claim was barred. The panel held that the United States was a necessary party to the claim because it held an interest in the Purdys’ allotments (by virtue of the restraint on alienation), and recognition of the R.S. 2477 rights-of-way would impair the United States’ interest. The panel further held that the United States had not waived its immunity from suit pursuant to the Quiet Title Act’s Indian lands exception, which preserves the United States’ immunity from suit when the United States claims an interest based on that property’s status as trust or restricted Indian lands.

The panel concluded that the district court properly dismissed the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The panel held that the district court correctly dismissed the State of Alaska’s claim for declaratory relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2201, which sought essentially the same relief as the quiet title claim.

Addressing the State of Alaska’s condemnation claim against the Purdys and the United States under 25 U.S.C. § 357, the panel held that although the district court had subject matter jurisdiction to hear the State’s condemnation claim, the claim could not proceed as pleaded. The panel held that the United States was an indispensable party to the claim. The panel further held that the district court erred in dismissing the claim on the ground that the United States had not waived its sovereign immunity because Congress waived the government’s immunity with respect to such claims. The panel also held that the United States’ express consent to the condemnation claim was not required. The panel concluded that the State improperly pleaded its condemnation claim, and remanded so that the State may be given an opportunity to amend the claim if it so chooses.

Opening Brief

Purdy Brief

Tanana Chiefs Conference Brief

US Brief



Federal Court Decides Quiet Title Act Matter

Here are the materials in Northern New Mexicans Protecting Land Water and Rights v. United States (D. N.M.):

22 US Motion to Dismiss

30 Response

31 Reply

33 DCT Order