New York Federal Court Rules in Favor of Mohawk Land Claims

Here are the materials in Canadian St. Regis Mohawk Tribe v. State of New York (N.D. N.Y.):

Elizabeth Hoover

Federal Court Imposes $200K Appeal Bond on Wolfchild Appeal

Here are the relevant materials in Wolfchild v. Redwood County (D. Minn.):

208 Lower Sioux Community Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions

291 DCT Order

Materials on the court’s dismissal of the claim are here.

Federal Court Applies Sherrill Defenses, Tribal Immunity to Dismiss Wolfchild Statutory Land Claims

Here is the order in Wolfchild v. Redwood County (D. Minn.):

196 DCT Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

An excerpt:

The Court finds no basis upon which to distinguish this case from those asserted in Sherrill or Stockbridge. It is clear that Plaintiffs’ claims flow from the 1863 Act. It is also clear that the land at issue here was sold to third parties no later than 1895. See Wolfchild IX, 731 F.3d at 1293. Plaintiffs’ claims are thus like those described in Stockbridge: “Indian land claims asserted generations after an alleged dispossession that are inherently disruptive of state and local governance and the settled expectations of current landowners and are subject to dismissal on the basis of laches, acquiescence, and impossibility.” Id. 756 F.3d at 165.

There is no language in Sherrill or Stockbridge that would limit the holdings of those decisions to claims based on aboriginal title.

Based on the particular characteristics and history of the claims at issue here, the Court finds that Plaintiffs’ claims are equitably barred. Application of the equitable bar set forth inSherrill does not require a balancing of equities between the parties. Instead, the equitable bar focuses on Plaintiffs’ delay in seeking relief, and the disruption that would result to settled and justified expectations regarding land ownership. Sherrill, 544 U.S. at 216‐17, 221(finding that “the Oneidasʹ long delay in seeking equitable relief against New York or its local units, and developments in the city of Sherrill spanning several generations, evoke the doctrines of laches, acquiescence, and impossibility, and render inequitable the piecemeal shift in governance this suit seeks unilaterally to initiate”).

Briefs are here.

Supreme Court Cert Opposition Briefs in Stockbridge-Munsee Land Claim

Here (thanks to the Supreme Court Project page):

State of New York Brief in Opposition

Oneida Indian Nation Brief in Opposition

The petition is here.

Law Professors Amicus Brief in Stockbridge-Munsee Community v. New York


Previous coverage here.

Stockbridge-Munsee Community v. New York Cert Petition


11-7-14 Stockbridge-Munsee Cert Petition_(filed)

Questions presented:

In Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1962 (2014), this Court held that courts may not override Congress’ judgment and apply laches to summarily dispose of claims at law filed within a statute of limitations established by Congress, thereby foreclosing the possibility of any form of relief. Equitable remedies may be foreclosed at the litigation’s outset due to a delay in commencing suit only in “extraordinary circumstances,” such as the need to prevent unjust hardship on innocent third parties. Id. at 1978.

The question presented is: Where Petitioner’s claims were filed within the statutory-limitations period established by Congress, did the court of appeals contravene this Court’s
decision in Petrella by invoking delay-based equitable principles to summarily dismiss all of Petitioner’s federal treaty, statutory and common-law claims, including one for money damages as upheld by this Court in County of Oneida v. Oneida Indian Nation of N.Y., 470 U.S. 226, 246 (1985)?

Lower court materials here. En banc petition materials here.

Second Circuit Denies En Banc Review in Stockbridge-Munsee Land Claims


Stockbridge CA2 En Banc Denial

The petition is here.


Second Circuit En banc Petition by Stockbridge-Munsee Community


6-30-14 Petition for Rehearing En Banc

An excerpt:

The panel decision conflicts with the May 19, 2014 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Petrella v.Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 132; 188 L.Ed.2d 979 (2014) (Petrella). Petrella held that courts may not override Congress’ judgment and apply equitable defenses to summarily dispose of claims at law filed within a statute of limitations established by Congress. The panel’s Per Curiam decision ruled that Plaintiff-Appellant Stockbridge-Munsee Community’s (Stockbridge) damages claims, which were filed within the congressionally established limitations period, are barred by the Sherrill equitable defense. Stockbridge-Munsee Cmty. v. New York; Slip Op. at 8, 2014 WL 2782191 (2d Cir. June 20, 2014) (Slip Opinion attached as Appendix). The panel’s failure to follow Petrella warrants en banc review under Fed. R. Civ. P. 35.

Panel materials here.

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Stockbridge-Munsee New York Land Claims

Here is the opinion in Stockbridge-Munsee Community v. New York:

Stockbridge-Munsee CA2 Order

Briefs are here.

Second Circuit Briefs in Stockbridge-Munsee Community Lands Claims

Here are the briefs in Stockbridge-Munsee Community v. State of New York:

Stockbridge-Munsee Brief

Oneida Indian Nation Brief

State Brief

Stockbridge-Munsee Reply Brief

Lower court materials are here.