Federal Court Dismisses Pala Band Membership Claims On Sovereign Immunity Grounds

While I agree that tribal sovereignty must be primary in these cases, I feel that there needs to be some kind of redress for those affected. The act of disenrolling families is becoming rampant and seems to be much more prevalent in those tribes with gaming facilities.

Turtle Talk

Here are the materials in Allen v. Smith (S.D. Cal.):

17.1 – Defendants’ Memorandum Supporting Motion to Dismiss

18 – Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

23 – Defendants’ Reply Supporting Motion to Dismiss

26 – Plaintiffs’ Notice of Recent Authorities

28 – Defendants’ Response to Notice of Recent Authorities

31 – Plaintiffs’ Notice of Additional Recent Authorities

33 – Defendants’ Response toNotice of Additional Recent Authorities

36 – District Court Order Dismissing Action

Judge William Q. Hayes of the Southern District of California ruled that sovereign immunity barred claims against the Pala Band of Mission Indians seeking enrollment in the Tribe and money damages. Importantly, the court distinguished the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Maxwell v. San Diego County.

Here are some key excerpts:

The Maxwell court distinguished the facts of its case from Hardin v. White Mountain Apache Tribe, 779 F.2d 476 (9th Cir. 1985), a…

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