Here is the unpublished opinion in Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians v. Caballero.
This is a trademark dispute between the federally recognized Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians and an unaffiliated man purporting to act as “Chief” of the “Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians.”
Lower court materials here.
Amazing story. Cribbing from another’s description of the case:
Just after news broke that Tribe’s Red Hawk Casino was about to open several years ago, Cesar Caballero began his campaign to usurp the Tribe’s established identity. There are many fascinating twist and turns to this story, including Mr. Caballero’s conviction for obstruction of mail after submitting a fraudulent change of address form to have the Tribe’s mail diverted to his address. Earlier in the case (a few years back) he filed unsuccessful counterclaims seeking relief for alleged violation of his trademarks and challenging the Tribe’s status. The court dismissed the counterclaims with prejudice.
Here are the materials:
Here is the issue, according to the tribe’s brief:
Appellee Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians (hereinafter, “Tribe”) has operated its federally recognized tribal government under the name “Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians” (the “Mark” or the “Tribe’s Mark”)[FN1] for over thirty years. During this time the Tribe provided governmental and educational services to its members and the public and its Mark became well known. Appellant Cesar Caballero is not a member of the Tribe, but identifies himself as a person of “Miwok” ancestry. In 2008, after he learned the Tribe planned to open a casino, he began to do business under the Tribe’s Mark and represent to third parties, through local and federal government filings, that he was the “Chief” and “Tribal Historian” of the “Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians.” These representations were false.