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Native American Law
South Fork Band Council of Western Shoshone of Nevada v. United States Department of the Interior

This is an appeal from the denial of a preliminary injunction in an environmental challenge to a major gold mining project on the side of Mt. Tenabo in Nevada. The mountain has religious significance for Indian tribes. The plaintiffs-appellants are the South Fork Band Council of Western Shoshone of Nevada, and other tribes and organizations (“the Tribes”). The Tribes originally filed this acti... More...   $0 (12-04-2009 - NV)

Jose Merced, President Templo Yoruba Omo Orisha Texas, Inc. v. Kurt Kasson; Mike Collins; Bob Freeman; City of Euless

The Texas Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (TRFRA), Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code ch. 110, prevents the state and local Texas governments from substantially burdening a person’s free exercise of religion unless the government can demonstrate that doing so furthers a compelling governmental interest in the least restrictive manner. In this case, we must decide if the city of Euless, Texas, may... More...   $0 (07-31-2009 - TX)

Renee Exendine Nettle v. Central Oklahoma American Indian Health Council, Inc. d/b/a The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

Renee Nettle, a former employee of the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (“the Clinic”), alleges that she was repeatedly harassed at work and fired when she complained about it. She filed a civil rights suit against the Clinic. The Clinic was granted summary judgment on all claims. Ms. Nettle appeals, and we affirm the judgment of the district court.

I. Facts

Ms. Nettle is a one-ha... More...
   $0 (07-01-2009 - OK)

Pastor Rick Barr v. City of Sinton

The Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (TRFRA) provides that “a government agency may not substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion [unless it] demonstrates that the application of the burden to the person . . . is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest [and] is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.”1 TRFRA does not immunize religious con... More...   $0 (06-19-2009 - TX)

United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma v. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Plaintiff-Appellant, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma (“UKB”), is challenging a final agency action by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) which drastically reduced the federal funding that the UKB received for housing under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA), 25 U.S.C. §§ 4101-424... More...   $0 (06-05-2009 - OK)

Marquette General Hospital, Inc. v. Bryan K. Chosa and the County of Baraga

Plaintiff Marquette General Hospital (the Hospital) appeals as of right the Baraga Circuit Court’s order granting summary disposition in favor of defendants. At issue is defendant Baraga County’s liability for the cost of medical services provided by the Hospital for defendant Bryan Keith Chosa, who was at the time an inmate at the Baraga County Jail. Although the general legal principles invo... More...   $0 (05-26-2009 - MI)

Southern Ute Indian Tribe v. Michael O. Leavitt, et al.

In litigation arising from the Secretary of Health and Human Services’s (“HHS”) decision not to enter into a self-determination contract with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the district court issued two operative orders: the first order determined that the HHS decision was unlawful, granted summary judgment to the Tribe, and ordered the Tribe to prepare a form of an order for injunctive reli... More...   $0 (05-04-2009 - NM)

Thomas Eugene Grass v. Kelly Johnson

Plaintiff Thomas Eugene Grass, proceeding pro se, challenges the district court’s award of summary judgment to defendant Kelly Johnson on his Fourth Amendment claim of excessive force brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and we reverse.


On the evening of May 15, 2004, Johnson, a police officer for the City of Jay, Oklahoma, arrested Grass... More...
   $0 (04-25-2009 - OK)

Dennis Hecker, et al. v. Deere & Company, Fidelity Management Trust Co., and Fidelity Management & Research Co.

Even before the stock market began its precipitous fall in early October 2008, litigation over alleged mismanagement of defined contribution pension plans was becoming common. This type of litigation received a boost when, in LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Associates, Inc., 128 S.Ct. 1020 (2008), the Supreme Court held that “a participant in a defined contribution pension plan [may] sue a fiduciary ... More...   $0 (02-13-2009 - WI)

Pearl Cottier v. City of Martin

In September 2002, the American Civil Liberties Union brought an action on behalf of two Native Americans ("plaintiffs") against the City of Martin, South Dakota, and various city officials in their official capacities (collectively "Martin"). Plaintiffs challenged Ordinance 122, which redistricted the Martin City Council ("city council") ward boundaries, as intentionally and effectively diluting ... More...   $0 (12-17-2008 - SD)

Native American Distributing, a division of Flat Creek Cattle Co., Inc. and John Dilliner v. Seneca-Cayuga Tobacco Company, an enterprise of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma; LEROY HOWARD, an individual; FLOYD LOCKAMY, an individual; RICHARD WOOD

Plaintiffs Native American Distributing and John Dilliner filed suit in federal court against the Seneca-Cayuga Tobacco Company (“SCTC”), which is an enterprise of the Seneca-Cayuga Indian Tribe, and three individuals who had been officers of SCTC (the “Individual Defendants”). SCTC and the Individual Defendants moved to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), Fed. R. Civ. P., arguing that the ... More...   $0 (11-20-2008 - OK)

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico v. The League of Women Voters of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County, Inc.; Sage Council; New Mexico Coalitiion to End Homelessness; Anne Kass; Alexandra Kazaras; Barbara Grothus

Defendant-Appellant, the Albuquerque City Clerk (“City”), appeals from the district court’s judgment in favor of Plaintiffs-Appellees granting them declaratory and injunctive relief. In 2005, the City passed an amendment to its charter requiring voters in municipal elections to present photo identification at polling locations. On summary judgment, the district court held that the amendment ... More...   $0 (11-17-2008 - NM)

Paul F. Weinbaum; Martin J. Boyd v. The City of Law Cruces, New Mexico, et al.

Paul Weinbaum, a resident of the Las Cruces area, brought two separate suits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that Las Cruces, New Mexico (the “City”) and the Las Cruces Public School District (the “District”) have violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by displaying, in various forms, three crosses on public property.1 Weinbaum sought declaratory and injunctive relief in... More...   $0 (09-17-2008 - NM)

Stephanie Empson-Laviolette v. Mathan Ryan Crago and Shannon Scott and Tricia Scott

Plaintiff Stephanie Empson-Laviolette (Empson), an enrolled member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Tribe), appeals by right the trial court’s order granting sole custody of her son, Z.E., to appellees Shannon and Tricia Scott. Below, pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), 25 USC 1901 et seq., Empson moved the trial court to dismiss the Scotts’ motion for custody and to ret... More...   $0 (09-11-2008 - MI)

Mark Shook, et al. v. The Board of County Commissioners of the County of El Paso and Terry Maketa

Plaintiffs Mark Shook and Dennis Jones, along with several intervenors, appear before us for the second time to contest the district court’s denial of their motion to certify a class action consisting of all present and future mentally ill inmates at Colorado’s El Paso County Jail. In their first appeal, we held that in denying class certification the district court erred by relying on the jur... More...   $0 (09-09-2008 - CO)

Oglala Sioux Tribe v. C&W Enterprises, Inc.

C & W Enterprises, Inc., appeals from a United States District Court for the District of South Dakota order permanently enjoining the Second Judicial Circuit Court of South Dakota (“state court”) from confirming an arbitration award against the Oglala Sioux Tribe for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. We vacate the permanent injunction, and remand for further proceedings.

I. Backgroun... More...
   $0 (09-05-2008 - SD)

Jack C. Pelt, et al. v. State of Utah

This appeal involves an oil and gas royalty fund that the State of Utah (“Utah”) is required to administer for the benefit of members of the Navajo Nation living in San Juan County, Utah. In this class action, beneficiaries of the Navajo Trust Fund (the “Beneficiaries”) seek a fiduciary accounting of trust fund activities from Utah. In proceedings below, Utah unsuccessfully argued that all... More...   $0 (09-03-2008 - UT)

Barona Band of Mission Indians, etc. v. Betty T. Yee, et al.

We must decide whether a non-Indian contractor who purchases construction materials from non-Indian vendors, which are later delivered to a construction site on Indian land, is exempt from state sales taxes. The California State Board of Equalization (the "Board") appeals the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Barona Band of Mission Indians (the "Tribe") in which the district court de... More...   $0 (06-20-2008 - CA)

Dustin Robbins v. State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Department of Human Services

This case arises from the tragic death of an eight month old infant, Renee Dawn Robbins, the child of Dustin Robbins and Melissa Gillum. In 2003, Renee's parents sought financial assistance and other social services from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services ("DHS"). Employees of DHS informed Mr. Robbins and Ms. Gillum that Carla Beth McKinney operated a licensed and privately-owned dayca... More...   $0 (03-28-2008 - OK)

Richard M. Feldman, et al. v. Mary Bomar, et al.

Richard M. Feldman, Robert Lee Puddicombe, and In Defense of Animals (IDA) (collectively "Appellants") appeal the judgment in favor of the Nature Conservancy (TNC), the National Park Service (NPS), NPS's director, and the Chief of Natural Resources Management at Channel Islands National Park (collectively "Appellees") on their claims that Appellees violated the National Environmental Po... More...   $0 (01-19-2008 - CA)

Sierra Club, et al. v. Dale Bosworth, etc., et al.

Appellants the Sierra Club and the Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign (collectively, "Sierra Club") appeal the district court's summary judgment in favor of the United States Forest Service and Department of Agriculture (collectively, "Forest Service"), in their action alleging that the defendants violated the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321-4370f. Th... More...   $0 (12-09-2007 - CA)

NULANKEYUTMONEN NKIHTAQMIKON, DAVID MOSES BRIDGES, VERA J. FRANCIS, HILDA LEWIS, DEANNA FRANCIS, REGINALD JOSEPH STANLEY, MARY BASSETT v. ROBERT K. IMPSON, Acting Regional Director, Eastern Region, Bureau of Indian Affairs; GALE NORTON, Secretary of the Interior, United States Department of the Interior

This appeal arises from the Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA") approval of a lease of Passamaquoddy tribal land to a developer who wishes to construct a Liquified Natural Gas ("LNG") terminal in part on that land. Nulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon Footnote ("NN"), a group of tribe members who oppose construction of the LNG terminal, and several individual tribe members (collectively, "Plaintiffs") ch... More...   $0 (09-21-2007 - ME)


This is the second lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs challenging the Department of Transportation's claimed policy of encapsulating Native American graves that were discovered during the widening of Hillsboro Road in Davidson and Williamson counties. The first lawsuit generated a reported opinion of this Court, Alliance for Native American Indian Rights in Tennessee, Inc. v. Nicely, 182 S.W... More...   $0 (08-23-2007 - TN)

Jane A.T. Turner v. Alberto Gonzales, et al.

Jane Turner appeals an adverse grant of summary judgment on her claims of gender discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. We affirm the grant of summary judgment with respect to Turner's gender discrimination and hostile work environment claims. However, we reverse the grant of summary judgment on the retali... More...   $1000000 (08-15-2007 - MN)

Richard Anderson, Michal Lynch, and Dyan Wirt v. American Indian Health & Services and Maria Elizabeth Cordero

Richard Anderson, Michal Lynch, and Dyan Wirt sued American Indian Health & Services and Maria Elizabeth Cordero on an employment discrimination theory claiming that they were fired from their jobs because they were not Native Americans.

Defendants denied wrongdoing. Defendants admitted that the terminated staff had no negative indications in their personnel files, but asserted they w... More...   $384000 (06-15-2007 - CA)

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