Monday, April 5, 2010

Lawsuit Against Shingle Springs Miwok Indians Headed to Trial

The Shingle Springs Miwoks own the Red Hawk Casino, but are being sued for abruptly canceling a contract with previous owner. The defense is NOT that they didn't do it, but that they have sovereignty.

A lawsuit seeking more than $100 million filed three years ago against the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians is set to return to trial following a decision by the California Supreme Court.

The tribal government that owns the Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs has been arguing for years that it has sovereignty and therefore cannot be sued in El Dorado County Superior Court. The tribe’s argument has lost over and over again, and has been appealed each time.

On Tuesday, the tribe ran out of appeals when the state Supreme Court denied the tribe’s request to review the lower court’s decisions.

Interesting MONEY QUOTE from Howard Dickstein:

This is no shock. The California Supreme Court takes less than 1 percent of the cases presented to it. This isn’t a case that breaks any new ground or settles differing opinions for other jurisdictions,” said Howard Dickstein, attorney and partner in Dickstein & Zerbi. He is not involved in the case, but he has specialized in Native American and gaming issues for decades.

The headman of the Pechanga Tribe, Mark Macarro routinely claims that the Supreme Court has ruled in their favor when if fact, they decided not to hear a couple of cases. Two completely different things.
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