Decision Supporting Proposed Tribal Casino In Jackson Valley Upheld

Decision Supporting Proposed Tribal Casino In Jackson Valley Upheld

The United States Court of Appeals on Wednesday said it won’t reconsider a panel ruling backing the dismissal of Amador County’s suit challenging a U.S. Department of the Interior decision supporting a proposed tribal casino in the Jackson Valley.  In the brief decision, the appellate court denied Amador County’s petition for rehearing.   Amador County challenged the Department of the Interior’s authorization of gaming on land, known as the Buena Vista Rancheria.  Its suit focused on whether the Rancheria is a “reservation” within the meaning of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.   In 1987, the County and the plaintiffs from the Buena Vista Rancheria agreed to a stipulated judgment stating that the County would “treat” the Buena Vista Rancheria “as any other federally recognized Indian reservation,” and that “all of the laws of the United States that pertain to federally recognized Indian Tribes and Indians shall apply” to the Rancheria.   As the district court found this week, the agreement’s plain language “unambiguously sets forth the parties’ intent that Amador County  would treat the Buena Vista Rancheria as a reservation” which would allow gaming on the land.   The court in its dismissal also noted that in an earlier appeal, “a clear manifestation of the parties’ intent to be bound in future actions” precludes the County from arguing that the Buena Vista Rancheria is not an Indian reservation.  The County and the Buena Vista tribe have been at odds over a casino on property off of Coalmine Road in the Jackson Valley for over 30 years.

Written by KVGC Staff

 

 

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