Unkechaug Nation Fishing Rights Case Survives Motion to Dismiss

Here are the materials in Unkechaug Indian Nation v. New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (E.D. N.Y.):

1 Complaint

27 Unkechaug Opposition to 28

28-1 NY Motion to Dismiss

29 Reply

38 DCT Order

Skokomish Tribe Effort to Re-Open Its U&A Fishing Territory Fails

Here are the materials in United States v. Washington subproceeding 17-1 (Skokomish Indian Tribe v. Squaxin Island Tribe of the Squaxin Island Reservation) (W.D. Wash.):

1-1 Skokomish Request for Determination

21 S’Klallam Tribes Motion to Dismiss

23 Squaxin Island Motion to Dismiss

32 Skokomish Response

33 S’Klallam Reply

35 Squaxin Reply

41 Squaxin Reply

42 DCT Order

Ninth Circuit Materials in Tulalip v. Suquamish Subproceeding 05-4

Here are the briefs in United States v. Washington (subproceeding 05-4):

Tulalip Opening Brief

Suquamish Answer Brief

Tulalip Reply

Oral argument audio and video.

Lower court materials here.

Bill to Clear Treaty Fishing Convictions Heads to Gov. Inslee


American Indian tribal members arrested while exercising their treaty fishing rights before 1975 would get the chance to clear their criminal records under a bill headed to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk.

House Bill 2080 passed the Senate unanimously Wednesday. It passed the House in February.

The measure would allow tribal members to apply to the sentencing court to expunge their related misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony convictions. Family members and tribal officials also could seek a vacated criminal record on behalf of a deceased person. The court would have the discretion to vacate the conviction, unless certain conditions apply, such as if the person was convicted for a violent crime or crime against a person.

via @SmithsonianNMAI

Federal Court Issues Decision in Challenge to Suquamish Usual and Accustomed Fishing Areas

Here are the materials in United States v. Washington subproceeding 05-4 (W.D. Wash.):

193 Swinomish Motion for Partial Summary J

195 Suquamish Motion

199 Tulalip Motion

Subp 05-4 Dkt 242 Order Suquamish-1

Materials on subproceeding 05-3 are here.

Federal Court Filings to Stop State Prosecution of Sault Tribe Members for Treaty Fishing Violations

As usual, Friday is the most exciting time of the week for Indian law events.

Here are the materials in the most recent proceedings in United States v. Michigan, an effort to enjoin State v. Jensen in Delta County court (John Petoskey doing the heavy lifting in state court for Jensen and Bruce Greene in federal court for the Sault Tribe):

Doc. No. 1819 (Motion for Relief)

Doc. No. 1820 Memo in Support of Motion for Relief

Doc. No. 1820-1 (Exh A-E)

Doc. No. 1820-2 (Exh F-H)

Doc. No. 1820-3 (Certif of Compliance with 2000 Consent Decree

Doc. No. 1821 (Motion to Expedite)

News Coverage of Sault Tribal Members’ Illegal Treaty Fishing

From the Daily Press, via Pechanga:

MANISTIQUE – The tribal judge who sentenced three members of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe of Indians for violating their fishing rights, described Friday’s hearing as a “sad day” for the tribe.

Andrew, Kevin and John Schwartz, all brothers from Rapid River, were found in violation of the majority of 105 citations issued against them in connection with an illegal commercial fishing operation in early 2009. The Department of Natural Resources investigated the illegal dealings.

On Friday, the Honorable Chief Judge Jocelyn K. Fabry revoked each of the three defendants’ fishing privileges and ordered each pay thousands of dollars in fines, costs, and restitution. In her concluding statements, the judge commented on the damage done to the environment as well as the tribe’s reputation.

“The effect on the natural resources of the area may not ever be determined,” Fabry said, describing where the violations occurred as one of the best walleye fishing areas in the state.

“This is a sad day for the tribe,” she added. “It gives tribal members a black eye in the community.”

Following the sentencing at the tribal center in Manistique, Special Prosecutor Monica Lubiarz-Quigley, representing the tribe, agreed with the judge.

“I think the judge’s comments were very, very appropriate,” Lubiarz-Quigley said outside the court. “Her comments reflect the majority of the feelings of the tribe and the board. I think she was absolutely right.”

Continue reading