Law Offices of
THOR O. EMBLEM
205 W. 5th Avenue, Suite 105 $ Escondido, California 92025
Telephone (760) 738-9301 $ Fax (760) 738-9409
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2014
Contact: Erin Emblem
San Diego, CA - The descendents of Margarita Britton have long been besieged in a dispute
about the nature of their Native American heritage with the Pala Band of Mission Indians. Despite
the Bureau of Indian Affairs 1989 "final decision" stating that Margarita Britton was in fact 4/4
Indian and the 2012 reaffirmation in their letter to the Pala Tribe recommending that the family
stay on Tribe's official rolls, corporate greed over gaming revenue and per capita distributions
have fuelled the forced exodus of this disenfranchised family as well as many others like them
from tribes throughout the state and nation.
"The motives of the band's current management team are pretty clear and actions like these make
us question the rights and responsibility of our own government and the extent of our authority to
protect federally enrolled members. The BIA says that they can only recommend. If the
government knows that the rights of its citizens are being violated isn't their responsibility to step
in? They do it all the time, all over the world and this case we're asking them to protect American
citizens here in the United States. This Laissez-Faire, bury your head in the sand, look the other
way stance our government seems to be taking with federally enrolled tribal governments that
make up the rules as they go along doesn't happen with other foreign nations. The level of
dysfunction is just baffling to me. Could you imagine what a relief it would be to foreign
dictatorships if we took the same position?" asks appellate attorney Tracy Emblem who has spent
countless hours researching case law, statutes and ordinances which requires the federal
government to step in and in this case enforce the BIA's determination.
After months of delay appealing to the BIA back in 2012 and 2013, the U.S. District Court in
Aguayo v. Jewel, et al, issued a ruling yesterday full of mixed messages about where the family
stands and the scope of the federal government's authority. The long and short of the 35 page
decision is that it is in Judge Bashant's opinion that she does not have the authority to hear or rule
on the case.
When asked for his take on the ruling, Plaintiff's attorney Thor Emblem remarked, "it's apparent
that the judge wants the court of appeals to make the call on this. A decision of this magnitude
should come from a higher court as it has the power to specify the extent of the government's
authority and duty over a sovereign nation within its borders. If the ruling had gone the other way,
it was likely that the Tribe would have challenged a decision in our favor by filing a joinder, so no
matter the outcome, this case was on track for the appeals court. The good thing to come of this is
that moving forward our case can be heard in a court that is both familiar with the nature of our
case and is comfortable making a ruling that affects governmental policy. The 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals has previously ruled on two of our primary arguments in the case of Alto v. Black where
they found in our favor. From where we're standing, the appellate route is our next and best
course of action at this time."
I just don't understand how the BIA can make a ruling that the tribe agrees with and follows for 20 something years then when Smith is in power decides to go against it because it does not suit his agenda and the courts and BIA just look the other way and allow this. The BIA's recommendation is a kin to a cop walking by a person breaking into a car and saying a recommend you don't do that but not actually stepping in and stopping the person. how can the BIA be an overseer of sorts if they can't back up their own rulings and have to go by the rules of the people they are overseeing.
I'm so over nobody having the balls to step in when this is obviously wrong. Robert/Teresa continue to WIN and walk all over the tribe the BIA and the courts. They are untouchable!!!!!!!
THEY ARE NOT UNTOUCHABLE, IM ABOUT TO LAY HANDS ON THE BOTH OF THEM.
The tribe would thank you! Everyone is afraid to make the first move but once it's done others will stand.
Spreading he truth, is an honor to our ancestors. The bad actors have been told @ Pechanga that they believe they have done wrong but the courts also felt the issue should be solved internally. Since the Bad Actors continue to not follow custom and tradition, they dishonored our ancestors and continue to do it hoping they are great actors and the lies will justify their moves. You case however may break the case wide open because again the circuit court is going to see Bad Actors again breaking custom and tradition and going against decades of recognition both federally and internally. I hope for the Bad Actors to reevaluate their choices before the outside does. Maybe its time to correct mistakes before someone else does for "ALL". Our Ancestors deserve to be treated better than the current action's against them and their descendants.
In the midst of this lackluster ruling me and the rest of my family living along Hunter Lane on Pechanga have to change all our permanent mailing addresses because we are no longer allowed to use the mail boxes on the reservation.
Inconvenient to do because we have to contact everyone of a chang of address including dmv and utilities. This by the way is causing mass confusion because the physical dwelling is not changing. Another show of power by Pechanga leaders for reasons that are not entirely clear.
This may seem like a crazy thought, but I believe you have an actionable suit. Have you talked to someone who knows postal laws and regulations concerning the permanent location of your mail box. Have you considered a mailbox in front of the house? If the mailman is not allowed onto the rez. then I think there is a regulation that a PO box must be provided where the mil guy can leave and pickup mail. As allotte's the BIA and Department of Interior have the authority to regulate a solution. This may be a painful and time consuming encounter, but I think this time the tribe is overstepping its authority because it is essentially telling the post office what they can and can not do. It is also true that those postal boxes are protected by federal law that any person or other entity shall not inhibit, delay or stop the mail from being delivered. I am not sure about the exact phrase of law but I think you should not just let them do this to you.
I have called Robert Eben of the Riverside B.I.A. on Monday but to this date he has not returned my call nor will he answer my numerous call I have made.
Did anyone else see Robert getting picked up by the helicopter yesterday on the ballfield he walked out of the tribal hall straight to the helicopter. To take him to the airport to fly on the private jet probably. ALL AT THE TRIBES EXPENSE!! COME ON PALA WAKE UP YOU CANT BE THAT STUPID?? Who does he think he is?? Expenses like that are the reason there is no bonuses and percap keeps dropping. There are so many other less expensive ways for the EC to travel. If Pala finances are as bad as they say shouldn't they be cutting down on all expenses?
November 21, 2014 at 1:53 PM
This poster is asking the right questions. It is the responsibility of the people to speak up. I know this is dangerous because of the threat of disenrollment, so it takes a united front of all the members and non members to stand up to the man and his cronies. I wish we would have known this before we challenged Marcy, we had a few supporters from the Hunter family but not near enough to stop the evil. I still feel bad for the Hunters, but I am glad they did not sell out to the corrupt liars and thieves that have taken Pechanga down the path that separates them from the spirit of the creator of the land and our ancestors.
ALL ANCESTORS, EVERYWHERE are dishonored by these tribes actions. We are all related.
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