Attached is a media advisory sent out regarding Jeffredo et al. vs. Macarro et al. which has been filed in Federal Court and served on the Pechanga Tribal Council. The Writ alleges that the Pechanga Tribal Council committed numerous violations of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 ("ICRA"), a federal law that prohibits tribal governments from violating certain civil rights such as due process and equal protection of law.
As Pechanga Tribal Officials have done before, it is a safe bet to expect the Pechanga Tribal Council to claim immunity so as to escape prosecution for violations of the ICRA. MEDIA ADVISORY Wednesday, August 29, 2007 Contact Persons: Patrick Guillory Paul Harris 415-285-1882 Federal Lawsuit Being Served on Pechanga's Tribal Council Temecula, CA- A Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is being served on the Tribal Council of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians. The Petition names the current members of the Pechanga Tribal Council, including Chairman Mark Macarro, as Respondents for the Tribal Council's actions in violating the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 ("ICRA").* The Petition was filed in Federal Court by descendants of Paulina Hunter, who was retroactively stripped of her Pechanga citizenship.
All of her descendants, numbering over 100 tribal members, have also been disenrolled from their Tribe. (Disenrollment means the stripping of their tribal citizenship, and effective banishment from their Tribe.) Pechanga Tribal officials ignored the findings of the Tribe's retained anthropologist, who concluded that Paulina Hunter was one of the original Pechanga tribal members when the Tribe was formally recognized by the U.S. Government in the 1800s. The Petition cites numerous violations of ICRA, which was passed by Congress to provide basic civil rights to Indians on Indian Reservations. It's because the U.S. Bill of Rights does not apply on reservations that ICRA was enacted; to "protect individual Indians from arbitrary and unjust actions of tribal governments." Specifically, the Tribal Council's actions denied the Hunter descendants of due process and equal protection of the laws; inflicted cruel and unusual punishment; deprived the Hunter descendants of property without due process; and violated freedom of speech protections.
The Tribal Council also refused to comply with a "duly-enacted Tribal Resolution" stopping the wholesale denationalization of its citizens. These actions also constitute a "severe and continuing detention" and "restraint on Petitioners' liberty". The Petition requests that the Court issue orders directing the Pechanga Tribal Council to free the Hunter descendants from the restraints on their liberty and to invalidate the illegal stripping of their Indian citizenship. * The case is known as Jeffredo et al. vs. Macarro et al., US District Court-Central District of California, Case # CV 07 1851 JFW (PLAX).