Casino Development Firm Sues Sault Tribe over Lansing and Wayne County Gaming Proposals [updates]

Here is the complaint in JLLJ Development LLC v. Kewadin Casinos Gaming Authority (W.D. Mich.):



14-1 Gaming Authority Motion to Dismiss

Sault Tribe Prevails over Interior over Interpretation of Mandatory Trust Land Acquisition Statute

Here is the opinion in Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Bernhardt (D.D.C.):


Case tag here.


Federal Court Dismisses Sault Tribe Member’s Treaty-Based Effort (from prison) to Save Structures Encroaching on State Land

Here are the materials in Macleod v. Moritz (E.D. Mich.):

4 First Amended Complaint

19 State Motion to Dismiss

23 Bellfy Motion to Intervene

25 State Opposition to Bellfy Motion

26 MacLeod Motion for Summary

27 MacLeod Opposition to MTD

30 State Reply

32 MacLeod Objection

39 State Supp Brief

41 MacLeod Supp Brief

42 DCT Order on Procedural Motions

43 Magistrate R&R

46 MacLeod Objections

48 State Response

53 Bellfy Notice of Appearance

54 MacLeod-Bellfy Motion

55 DCT Order

Michigan SCT Rules Former Tribal Official who Committed Crime in Office Eligible to Run for State Office

Here is the opinion in Paquin v. City of St. Ignace:


And the lone brief I was able to unearth:


Lower court decision here.

Mr. Paquin’s indictment here.

Sault Tribe Moves for Summary Judgment in Its Off-Rez Fee to Trust Claim

Here are the pleadings in Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Bernhardt (D.D.C.):

43 Sault Tribe MSJ

45 Detroit Casinos MSJ


54 Interior MSJ

56 Sault Tribe Reply

60 Detroit Casinos Reply

61 SCIT Reply

62 Interior Reply

63 NHBP Reply

Case tag here.

Tribes and Detroit Casinos Allowed to Intervene in Sault Tribe Suit over Lansing and Wayne County Off-Rez Gaming Applications

Here are the materials so far in Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Bernhardt (D.D.C.):

1 Complaint

1-1 Solicitor Opinion on Bay Mills

1-2 Wayne County Application

1-3 Lansing Application

1-4 Supplemental Materials

1-5 Jan 2017 Interior Letter

1-6 July 2017 Interior Decision

11 Answer

16-1 Saginaw Chippewa Motion to Intervene

18-1 Detroit Casinos Motion to Intervene

20 Nottawaseppi Huron Band Motion to Intervene

28 Sault Tribe Opposition to Intervention Motions

29 Federal Opposition to Detroit Casinos Motion to Intervene

31 Saginaw Chippewa Reply in Support of 16

32 Detroit Casinos Reply in Support of Motion to Intervene

33 NHBPI Reply in Support of Motion to Intervene

35 DCT Order

Prior posts on the Lansing/Wayne County casino proposals are here.

GTB and Sault Tribe Join Opiate Litigation

Here is the complaint in In re National Prescription Opiate Litigation (N.D. Ohio):

GTB & Sault Tribe Complaint

Here is a recent list of tribes that have joined the litigation:

List of Tribes

Consent to Termination of Parental Rights Decision in Michigan Supreme Court

Opinion here

The ICWA Appellate Clinic co-represented the tribe in this case.

This case involves a complicated question of state statute interpretation regarding a voluntary consent to a termination of parental right in the face of a state termination petition. In this case, the dad consented to termination before the termination hearing. The children were later placed in a tribal-approved foster placement, and the dad withdrew his consent to termination. The question was whether dad could do that under Michigan statute.

None of the protections in MCL 712B.15, [mirroring ICWA’s main protections in an involuntary proceeding] which are designed for contested and adversarial proceedings, remains relevant once a parent voluntarily releases his or her rights under MCL 712B.13. When the court accepted Williams’s release, and the proceedings went from adversarial to cooperative, the protections of MCL 712B.15 did not apply.

However, the Court also held,

That is, Williams may withdraw his consent, but because he is still subject to MCL 712B.15, DHHS may refile a termination petition. MCL 712B.15. And, under MCL 712B.13(3), a parent who consents during an involuntary termination proceeding is not entitled to “the return of the Indian child” to him or her.

Instead, the child returns to the position the child was in before his or her parent consented to the termination of parental rights. Williams’s children were in foster care when he consented to the termination of his parental rights, his children will remain in foster care, and Williams will be once again subject to the procedures and protections of MCL 712B.15. DHHS may proceed with its termination case if it chooses, and if DHHS can satisfy the heightened requirements of MCL 712B.15, Williams’s parental rights can be terminated.

Briefing on the case is here.

Michigan COA Rules Former Tribal Official with Criminal Record Not Eligible for State and Local Office

Here is the opinion in Paquin v. City of St. Ignace:

unpublished opinion

An excerpt:

In light of the foregoing, we hold that the Tribe constitutes a local government and that plaintiff’s employment with the Tribe constituted employment in “local, state, or federal government” for purposes of Const 1963, art XI, § 8. Such a holding does not diminish or undermine the Tribe’s inherent sovereign authority. “[S]tate laws are generally not applicable to tribal Indians on an Indian reservation except where Congress has explicitly provided that state law shall apply.” Huron Potawatomi, Inc v Stinger, 227 Mich App 127, 132; 574 NW2d 706 (1997). In the instant case, no one is seeking to prohibit plaintiff from running for a position in the Tribe or otherwise to interfere in the Tribe’s regulation of its internal matters. Instead, Const 1963, art 11, § 8 is being applied to prohibit plaintiff from running for a position on defendant’s city council. In other words, the constitutional provision is being used to assess the qualification of a potential candidate for a position on the city council of a Michigan municipality, not a position in the Tribe. “The members of the various Indian tribes are citizens of the United States and citizens of the state within which they reside.” Mich United Conservation Clubs v Anthony, 90 Mich App 99, 109; 280 NW2d 883 (1979) (citations omitted). In seeking to run for an elective position in a Michigan city, plaintiff was acting in his capacity as a Michigan citizen rather than a member of the Tribe. As a Michigan citizen, plaintiff is subject to the same laws as other Michigan citizens when seeking to run for an office in a Michigan municipality. See generally, Mescalero Apache Tribe v Jones, 411 US 145, 148-149; 93 S Ct 1267; 36 L Ed 2d 114 (1973) (“Absent express federal law to the contrary, Indians going beyond reservation boundaries have generally been held subject to non-discriminatory state law otherwise applicable to all citizens of the State.”).