California Court of Appeals Affirms Contract Breach Judgment against Cabazon Band

Here is the opinion in Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians.

An excerpt:

The indenture and note between the Bank and the Tribe were secured by a perfected security interest in the DAR, after being deposited into the Tribe’s custodial account with the Bank. The indenture agreement at issue here did not confer any authority, control, or responsibility to the bondholder or the Bank for the conduct of any gaming activity. It merely provided the Bank and the bondholder with a security interest in a specific bank account. It did not and could not control what was deposited into that custodial account. A contract creating a security interest in a custodial account does not convey authority or responsibility for the conduct of any gaming activity. Therefore, it does not violate the sole proprietary interest rule.

Only brief I’ve found: Wells Fargo’s Reply brief

Wells Fargo v. Cabazon Band — Enforcement of Trust Indenture

Cabazon Band has removed the state court complaint to federal court (Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians (C.D. Cal.)):

Cabazon Notice of Removal [notice only]

Cabazon Notice of Removal Part 1 [notice plus attachments, each are 100+ page docs]

Cabazon Notice of Removal Part 2

Cabazon Notice of Removal Part 3

Cabazon Notice of Removal Part 4

Cabazon Notice of Removal Part 5

An excerpt from the notice:

5. This action “seeks to specifically enforce certain covenants of the Tribe under the Trust Indenture[.]” Exh. “A” (Complaint) ¶ 1. This dispute potentially involves claims under Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”), 25 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2721, and, accordingly, invokes federal jurisdiction. For example, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin held last year that federal subject matter jurisdiction was established on the face of the complaint because a claim against a Tribe for breach of a Trust Indenture is not a routine contract dispute, and involved potential application of IGRA:
Wells Fargo’s claim for breach of the Indenture does not present a routine contract dispute, but rather a specific issue under a highly regulated area of federal law. See Gaming World, 317 F.3d at 848. (“since this case raises issues under the extensive regulatory framework of IGRA, it is not a routine contract dispute.”). Wells Fargo’s action on the Indenture and Bonds necessarily raise federal questions concerning whether the Indenture is a management contract within the meaning of the IGRA and, if so, whether the Tribe’s waiver of sovereign immunity is valid. Wells Fargo’s complaint therefore invokes federal jurisdiction[.]
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Sokagon Chippewa Community, 787 F. Supp. 2d 867, 875 (E.D. Wis. 2011).