Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California, et al v. Kenneth L. Salazar

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SAN JOSE DIVISION


May 11, 2012

CLOVERDALE RANCHERIA OF POMO INDIANS OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
KENNETH L. SALAZAR, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jeremy Fogel United States District Judge

E-Filed 5/12/2012

United States District Court For the Northern District of California

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION; GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF STANDING; TERMINATING MOTION TO INTERVENE AS MOOT; AND DISMISSING ACTION WITH PREJUDICE [re: dkt. entries 78, 82]

This action arises out of an internal political dispute within the Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California ("the Cloverdale Rancheria" or "the Tribe"). Plaintiffs claim that they 22 are members of the Tribe's rightful governing body, that Defendants improperly have refused to 23 deal with them, and that instead Defendants have dealt with a competing governing body that lacks 24 authority to act on behalf of the Tribe. Plaintiffs allege claims under the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"), 5 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., and the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act ("ISDA"), 25 U.S.C. § 450 et seq. Defendants move to dismiss the operative second amended 27 complaint ("SAC") for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and 28 for lack of standing pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). In a separate motion, the "Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California" ("Proposed Intervenor"), as represented by the governing 2 body that has been recognized by Defendants, seeks leave to intervene in the action. The Court 3 concludes that these motions are appropriate for disposition without oral argument pursuant to Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). For the reasons discussed below, the motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter 5 jurisdiction will be granted in part and denied in part, the motion to dismiss for lack of standing will 6 be granted, the motion to intervene will be terminated as moot, and the action will be dismissed with prejudice.

In 1958, the Rancheria Act terminated a number of Indian rancherias, including the Cloverdale Rancheria. See Alan--Wilson v. Sacramento Area Director ( "Alan--Wilson I"), 30 IBIA 241, 244-45 (1997). Tribal property was distributed to individual tribe members ("distributees").

I. BACKGROUND

7, 2006). "Upon distribution of tribal property, the tribes ceased to exist and members of the former 14 tribes were stripped of their status as Indians." Id. In 1979, individuals from a number of 15 terminated tribes filed the Hardwick action, seeking "restoration of their status as Indians and 16 entitlement to federal Indian benefits, as well as the right to re-establish their tribes as formal 17 government entities." Id. In 1983, Hardwick was settled with respect to members of seventeen 18 former tribes, including the Cloverdale Rancheria. See id.; Alan-Wilson I, 30 IBIA at 245. Those 19 seventeen tribes were restored to federal recognition; as a result, "the Cloverdale Rancheria was 20 listed in the Federal Register as a tribal entity eligible to receive government services." See Alan-21

June 1996 Council

In the years following restoration of the Cloverdale Rancheria, several competing groups 24 purported to hold tribal elections and to form tribal governments. See id. at 246-52. On April 1, 25 See Hardwick v. United States, No. C 79-1710 JF (PVT), 2006 WL 3533029, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 13 Wilson I, 30 IBIA at 246. 22

1997, the Interior Board of Indian Appeals ("IBIA")*fn1 vacated decisions of the Bureau of Indian

Affairs ("BIA") that had recognized two separate tribal governments at different points in time. See 2 id. at 262. The IBIA remanded the matter and directed the BIA to facilitate resolution of the dispute 3 between the Tribe's members. See id. at 262. On remand, the BIA concluded that under the 4

Hardwick settlement only distributees (and their successors) of the Cloverdale Rancheria's assets 5 were eligible to participate in organization of a tribal government. See Alan--Wilson v. Acting 6

Sacramento Area Director ("Alan--Wilson II"), 33 IBIA 55, 55 (1998). The BIA sent notices to 127 7 individuals that it determined were eligible to vote, inviting them to a meeting regarding 8 organization of the Tribe. See id. Those that attended the meeting voted to support a council that 9 had been elected on June 1, 1996 as the Tribe's interim governing body ("June 1996 Council").*fn2

13 actions without approval of the members of the Hardwick class, including expanding membership of 14 the Cloverdale Rancheria to include individuals who were not members of the Hardwick class, 15 removing two members of the June 1996 Council, and replacing them with two individuals who 16 were not members of the Hardwick class. SAC ¶¶ 45-50. Plaintiffs allege that although Defendants 17 are aware that the June 1996 Council is not acting with the approval of the members of the 18

Hardwick class, Defendants nonetheless continue to engage in a government-to-government 19 relationship with the June 1996 Council.*fn3 SAC ¶ 57. For example, Defendants have entered into a 20 self-determination contract with the Cloverdale Rancheria, as represented by the June 1996 Council, 21 pursuant to the ISDA. SAC ¶ 56. 22

Individuals who were members of the Hardwick class created the Committee to Organize the

Cloverdale Rancheria Government ("Committee to Organize"). SAC ¶¶ 60-61. The Committee to 25

See id. The IBIA subsequently affirmed recognition of the June 1996 Council as the rightful governing body of the Cloverdale Rancheria. See id. at 55-56.

Plaintiffs claim that the June 1996 Council subsequently "went rogue," and took a number of Committee to Organize

I. 27

Organize compiled a list of individuals who it believed were eligible to participate in tribal 2 elections, and then it conducted its own election on December 16, 2008. SAC ¶¶ 64-66. As part of 3 that election process, the "Cloverdale Constitution" was passed. SAC ¶ 67. On January 13, 2009, 4 the Committee to Organize conducted an election for a tribal council ("January 2009 Council"). 5

SAC ¶ 68. The following individuals were elected: Javier Martinez as Chairperson, Sarah Goodwin 6 as Vice-Chairperson, Lenette Laiwa-Brown as Secretary, Gerad Santana as Treasurer, and John 7

Central California Agency Superintendent, Troy Burdick ("BIA Superintendent Burdick"), 9 requesting recognition of their formal organization of the Cloverdale Rancheria government. SAC ¶ 10

Present Action

On April 14, 2010, the Committee to Organize and the individuals elected to the January 2009 Council (Martinez, Goodwin, Laiwa-Brown, Santana, and Trippo) (collectively, "Plaintiffs") 14 filed the present action on behalf of themselves and purportedly on behalf of the Tribe. Plaintiffs 15 alleged that the acting regional director for the Pacific Regional Office of the BIA, Dale Risling 16

Burdick's decision denying their request for recognition. Plaintiffs asserted claims under the APA, 18 seeking to compel action on their appeal. 19

After Plaintiffs filed their original complaint, BIA Acting Regional Director Risling denied 21 their appeal. Plaintiffs then filed a first amended complaint ("FAC") alleging three claims for relief. 22

First, Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants had failed to fulfill their obligation under Hardwick to 23 provide necessary and appropriate assistance to Plaintiffs' efforts to organize the government of the 24

Plaintiffs' organization of the Rancheria. Third, Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants violated 26

Plaintiffs' equal protection rights by failing to treat them in the same manner as other tribes in the 27

Hardwick class. After hearing argument on Defendants' motion to dismiss the FAC, the Court 28 directed Defendants to ask the IBIA to consider Plaintiffs' appeal of BIA Acting Regional Director

69. BIA Superintendent Burdick denied the request for recognition. SAC ¶ 71.

Trippo as General Representative. Id. The Committee to Organize then sent a letter to the BIA's 8

("BIA Acting Regional Director Risling"), had failed to act on their appeal of BIA Superintendent 17

First Amended Complaint

Cloverdale Rancheria. Second, Plaintiffs claimed that Defendants were obligated to recognize 25

IBIA time to reach a decision on Plaintiffs' appeal. However, the IBIA denied the request for 3 expedited consideration. The Court subsequently dismissed all three of Plaintiffs' claims for lack of 4 subject matter jurisdiction. The Court terminated as moot the motions to intervene and for sanctions 5 that had been brought by Proposed Intervenor. 6

On July 9, 2010, the same date on which Plaintiffs filed the FAC, the January 2009 Council

8 sent a letter request to BIA Acting Regional Director Risling, requesting that the Department of the 9

Risling's decision on an expedited basis. The Court stayed the matter for ninety days to allow the 2

Plaintiffs' Self-Determination Proposals

Interior ("the Department") amend the Cloverdale Rancheria's existing ISDA self-determination 10 contract.*fn4 SAC ¶ 90, Exh. 11. The stated purpose of the request was "to accurately reflect the

current duly-authorized governing body and duly elected officials of the Cloverdale Rancheria . . . ;

to apply for discretionary funds that may be available; to add and/or create new programs with such 13 funds as may be available; and/or reprogram existing funds." SAC Exh. 11. On September 24, 2010, 14

BIA Acting Regional Director Risling responded by letter stating that the BIA was precluded from 15 acting on the request in light of the appeal that was pending before the IBIA at that time, and in light 16 of the present lawsuit. SAC Exh. 12. 17

18 for the Pacific Regional Office of the BIA, Amy Dutschke ("BIA Regional Director Dutschke"), 19 seeking to renew the Cloverdale Rancheria's self-determination contract subject to the previously-20 requested amendments. SAC Exh. 13. On March 1, 2011, BIA Superintendent Burdick responded 21 by letter stating in relevant part as follows: 22

On November 22, 2010, the January 2009 Council sent a letter request to the regional director

In accordance with 25 C.F.R. Part 900.6, Subpart B, Definitions, we are returning your application to contract FY 2011 funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs,

under P.L. 93-638, as amended as it does not meet the definition state[d] below: "Tribal Organization means the recognized governing body of any Indian tribe; any

legally established organization of Indians which is controlled, sanctioned, or

chartered by such governing body or which is democratically elected by the adult

members of the Indian community to be served by such organization and which included, the maximum participation of Indians in all phases of its activities:

provided, that in any case where a contract is let or a grant made to an organization to perform services benefitting more than one Indian tribe, the approval of each such

Indian tribe shall be a prerequisite to the letting or making of such contract or grant."

Under the Part, consideration to contract federal funds to operate Bureau of Indian Affairs authorized programs will only be given to an application submitted by a

federally recognized tribe with a recognized governing body. Because we do not recognize the governing body referenced for the Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo

Indians of California, we are unable to accept the enclosed proposal for the above stated reason. We are hereby returning the proposal.

SAC Exh. 14. 9

Department's refusal to act on Plaintiffs' requests for amendment and renewal of the tribe's self-13 determination contract. Claim Four asserts that Defendants' failure to approve or deny Plaintiffs' 14

July 2010 and November 2010 self-determination proposals within ninety days violated the ISDA 15 and resulted in the proposals being "deemed approved." Claim Five asserts that Defendants' "failure 16 and refusal and/or unreasonable delay to approve or decline" the self-determination proposals 17 constitutes agency action unreasonably withheld or delayed that is subject to review under the APA. 18

Finally, Claim Six asserts that Defendants' refusal to act on the proposals is subject to review under 19 the APA. 20

21 action as to all Defendants. Thus the only remaining plaintiffs are the individual members of the 22

Plaintiffs' claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and lack of standing. Proposed Intervenor -- 24 that is, the Tribe as represented by the June 1996 Council that has been recognized by Defendants -- 25 has filed a renewed motion to intervene in the action. 26

Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), a defendant may move to dismiss a complaint for lack of

28 subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiff bears the initial burden of proving that subject matter

Operative Second Amended Complaint

On July 21, 2011, Plaintiffs filed the operative SAC. Claims One, Two, and Three re-allege

the claims previously dismissed by the Court. Claims Four, Five, and Six challenge the

On September 16, 2011, Plaintiff Committee to Organize filed a voluntary dismissal of its

January 2009 Council, purportedly acting on behalf of the Tribe. Defendants again move to dismiss 23

II. MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION 27

jurisdiction exists. Robinson v. United States, 586 F.3d 683, 685 (9th Cir. 2009). 2

A. First, Second, and Third Claims

Plaintiffs' SAC restates the first, second, and third claims for relief that this Court previously

4 dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs did not seek reconsideration of that ruling.

In opposition to the present motion to dismiss, Plaintiffs state that "relief is not expected on the basis 6 of these three claims," and that the claims "remain in the SAC only to avoid variance from the 7

Proposed SAC the Court granted leave to file." Opp. p. 3 n.3. Plaintiffs indicated that "[t]o the 8 extent the Court is compelled to dismiss the First, Second and Third claims a second time based on 9 the previous Order, Plaintiffs do not object." Id. In its order of May 17, 2011, the Court concluded 10 that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' first, second and third claims. Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter again will be granted with respect to those claims.

B. Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Claims 13

Plaintiffs assert that the BIA's refusal to act on their self-determination proposals within the

14 statutory time period violated the ISDA and that the proposals should be deemed approved by 15 operation of law (Claim Four). They also assert that the BIA's refusal to act on the proposals 16 constitutes agency action unreasonably withheld or delayed under the APA (Claim Five) and is 17 subject to review as final agency action under the APA (Claim Six). 18

"Judicial review of federal agency administrative decisions is, unless expressly stated

19 otherwise, governed by the APA." Friends of Boundary Waters Wilderness v. Bosworth, 437 F.3d 20

815, 821 (8th Cir. 2006). The APA provides for judicial review of "final agency action" and 21

"[a]gency action made reviewable by statute." 5 U.S.C. § 704. An agency action is "final" for 22 purposes of the APA if it "mark[s] the consummation of the agency's decision-making process . . . -- 23 it must not be of a merely tentative or interlocutory nature." Western Radio Services Co. v. 24

Glickman, 123 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 25

"Those principles require parties to pursue all administrative remedies prior to judicial review in 26 order to allow agencies to develop a complete factual record and to apply their expertise and 27 discretion." White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Hodel, 840 F.2d 675, 677 (9th Cir. 1988). "In 28 addition, the doctrine insures that a court will have before it a factual record to review, not merely an administrative decision to contradict." Id. 2

3 have required an administrative appeal from most BIA decisions before judicial review of such 4 decisions can be obtained." Stock West Corp. v. Lujan, 982 F.2d 1389, 1393 (9th Cir. 1993). Subject 5 to exceptions not applicable here, "[n]o decision, which at the time of its rendition is subject to 6 appeal to a superior authority in the Department [of the Interior], shall be considered final so as to 7 constitute Departmental action subject to judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 704." 25 C.F.R. § 2.6. 8

"There is a series of agency procedures mandated for exhaustion of administrative appeals." White 9

BIA Area Director; the Director's decision may be appealed directly to the IBIA. See id.; Lujan, 982 F.2d at 1393. In "exceptional circumstances" the exhaustion requirement may not apply. See White

Mountain, 840 F.2d at 677. For example, exhaustion may not be required where administrative 13 review would be futile as a result of a "preannounced decision by the final administrative decision-14 maker" or "objective and undisputed evidence of administrative bias." Id. 15

16 officials' refusal to act on their self-determination proposals, nor do they allege the existence of 17 exceptional circumstances excusing the exhaustion requirement. The bar to judicial review lies even 18 when the deadline for seeking administrative review has expired. See Lujan, 982 F.2d at 1394. 19

Otherwise, "any party could obtain judicial review of initial agency actions simply by waiting for 20 the administrative appeal period to run and then filing an action in district court." Id. Accordingly, 21 this Court is without subject matter jurisdiction to review Defendants' refusal to act on Plaintiffs' 22 self-determination proposals unless Plaintiffs can demonstrate that such refusal constitutes 23

"[a]gency action made reviewable by statute." See 5 U.S.C. § 704. The exhaustion requirements 24 discussed above do not apply "if any other regulation or Federal statute provides a different 25 administrative appeal procedure applicable to a specific type of decision." 25 C.F.R. § 2.3(b). 26

Plaintiffs contend that the ISDA provides a "different administrative appeal procedure" in that it 27 affords them the option of either pursuing an administrative appeal with respect to Defendants' 28 conduct or proceeding directly to a federal district court.

"Since 1975, regulations governing challenges to decisions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Mountain, 840 F.2d at 677. A decision made by a lower-level BIA official must be appealed to the 10

Plaintiffs do not allege that they pursued administrative appeals with respect to the local BIA

2 contract, or to amend or renew a self-determination contract. See 25 U.S.C. § 450f(a)(1), (a)(2). A 3

The ISDA authorizes "a tribal organization" to submit a proposal for a self-determination

"tribal organization" is defined as "the recognized governing body of any Indian tribe; any legally 4 established organization of Indians which is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by such governing 5 body or which is democratically elected by the adult members of the Indian community to be served 6 by such organization and which includes the maximum participation of Indians in all phases of its 7 activities. . . ." 25 U.S.C. § 450b(l); see also 25 C.F.R. § 900.6 (same). "Whenever the Secretary 8 declines to enter into a self-determination contract or contracts," the Secretary must (1) state any 9 objections in writing to the tribal organization; (2) provide assistance to the tribal organization to 10 overcome the stated objections; and (3) provide the tribal organization with a hearing and the

opportunity for an administrative appeal. See 25 U.S.C. § 450f(b). In lieu of filing an

administrative appeal, the tribal organization may "exercise the option to initiate an action in a 13

§ 450m-1(a) (granting United States district courts original jurisdiction over civil actions arising out 15 of ISDA contract disputes). 16

17 rather than pursuing an administrative appeal of Defendants' refusal to grant or deny their self-18 determination proposals. Defendants argue that the ISDA procedures relied upon by Plaintiffs are 19 available only to "tribal organizations" that are entitled to submit self-determination proposals. 20

Defendants contend that because Plaintiffs are not authorized to act for the Tribe, ISDA procedures 21 do not apply here. 22

IBIA decision, Navajo Nation and Board of Directors of Shiprock Alt. Schools, Inc. v. Office of 24

Indian Education Programs, et al., 40 IBIA 2 (2004), which addresses the Secretary's refusal to 25 consider a proposed grant amendment under the Tribally Controlled Schools Act ("TCSA"). 26

Because the TCSA incorporates ISDA rules and regulations when the Secretary refuses to approve a 27 grant, the decision discusses the ISDA extensively. See id. at *10-11. The IBIA concluded that the 28

Federal district court and proceed directly to such court." 25 U.S.C. § 450(b)(3); see also 25 U.S.C. 14

Relying upon these provisions, Plaintiffs claim the right to proceed directly to this Court

There appears to be little published authority on this issue. Defendants rely heavily upon an

Secretary's refusal to consider an ISDA self-determination proposal based upon a threshold

determination that the submitting entity lacks authority to act for the tribe does not trigger the 2 procedural rights established by the ISDA. See id. at *14-15. The IBIA opined that: 3

[I]t is critical to distinguish between a decision by the Secretary refusing to recognize an applicant as a tribe or tribal organization, and a decision by the Secretary

accepting a proposal as having been submitted by a tribe or tribal organization, but then refusing to approve it. In the former case, until the status of the applicant is

resolved, the Secretary's substantive obligations and the ISDA appeals rights that flow to tribes and tribal organizations are not triggered. Applicants whose proposals

are rejected because the Secretary concludes that they have not demonstrated that they are a tribe or tribal organization may still have appeal rights within the

Department, but not under the ISDA rules and regulations. . ..

Id. at 15-16 (emphasis added) (footnote omitted). It is worth noting that the ISDA procedure at 9 issue in Navajo Nation was the right to pursue administrative remedies, not the right to proceed 10 directly to district court in lieu of pursuing such remedies.

Columbia in San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians v. Salazar, Case No. 09-1716 (RMC). See 13

Court, which is whether a challenge to the Secretary's refusal to consider a proposal based upon a 15 threshold determination that the submitting entity lacks authority may be brought in federal district 16 court pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 450f(b)(3) and 25 U.S.C. § 450m-1(a). Id. The order does conclude 17 that a entity that is not authorized to represent a tribe cannot prevail on the merits of an ISDA claim, 18 since the ISDA applies only to proposals submitted by recognized tribal organizations. Id. at 2. 19

Neither of these decisions provides a firm legal basis for concluding that this Court is

20 precluded from exercising subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' claims. The ISDA provides 21 expressly that "[t]he United States district courts shall have original jurisdiction over any civil 22 action or claim against the appropriate Secretary arising under this subchapter." 25 U.S.C. § 450m-23

1(a) (emphasis added). Moreover, applicable regulations provide that "Congress has declared that 24 there not be any threshold issues which would avoid the declination, contract review, approval, and 25 appeal process." 25 C.F.R. § 900.3(a)(7). Accordingly, without more authority to support 26

Defendants' position, the Court declines to find that Congress's grant of original subject matter 27 jurisdiction over ISDA claims is inapplicable in this case. The motion to dismiss the fourth, fifth, 28 and sixth claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction will be denied.

Defendants also cite an unpublished order issued by the District Court for the District of

Reply, App. A. The order does not squarely address the jurisdictional question presently before this 14

3 of statutory standing. See Vaughn v. Bay Environ. Management, Inc., 567 F.3d 1021, 1022 (9th Cir. 4

2009) ("a dismissal for lack of statutory standing is properly viewed as a dismissal for failure to 5 state a claim"). 6

7 discussed above, the ISDA authorizes "a tribal organization" to submit a proposal for a self-8 determination contract, or to amend or renew a self-determination contract. See 25 U.S.C. § 9

Indian tribe; any legally established organization of Indians which is controlled, sanctioned, or

chartered by such governing body or which is democratically elected by the adult members of the

Indian community to be served by such organization and which includes the maximum participation 13 of Indians in all phases of its activities. . . ." 25 U.S.C. § 450b(l); see also 25 C.F.R. § 900.6 (same). 14

Defendants contend that Plaintiffs do not meet this definition because they are not authorized by the 15 federally recognized governing body of the Tribe. Plaintiffs argue that the statutory definition does 16 not require that a "tribal organization" be recognized by the federal government. Plaintiffs assert 17 that they meet the statutory definition of a "legally established organization of Indians . . . which is 18 democratically elected by the adult members of the Indian community to be served by such 19 organization and which includes the maximum participation of Indians in all phases of its 20 activities." See 25 U.S.C. § 450b(l). 21

22 itself also is named as a plaintiff. The ISDA authorizes a "tribal organization" to submit self-23 determination proposals and to seek review of the Secretary's action on such proposals. See 25 24

U.S.C. § 450f(a)(2), (b). The January 2009 Council submitted the self-determination proposals at 25 issue. However, the January 2009 Council is not a party to this action. Plaintiffs have not cited and 26 the Court has not discovered any authority that would confer standing upon members of the January 27

2009 Council, acting in their individual capacities, to seek review of the Secretary's conduct in this 28 matter. Plaintiffs' claims are subject to dismissal on this basis.

III. MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF STANDING

A defendant may seek dismissal under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) based upon a plaintiff's lack

Defendants assert that Plaintiffs lack statutory standing to proceed under the ISDA. As is

450f(a)(1), (a)(2). A "tribal organization" is defined as "the recognized governing body of any 10

As an initial matter, Plaintiffs are individuals purporting to represent the Tribe; the Tribe

Moreover, even if the Court were to allow amendment to add the January 2009 Council as a

2 plaintiff, that entity lacks standing to proceed under the ISDA. As is discussed above, the June 1996 3

Council has been recognized by the BIA, and has entered into self-determination contracts with the 4

Secretary. Plaintiffs have cited no authority for the proposition that the ISDA authorizes the 5 government to enter into separate, additional contracts with other factions of the Tribe. To the 6 contrary, the BIA is required to recognize and deal with a single tribal governing body at a time. 7

See Goodface v. Grassrope, 708 F.2d 335, 339 (8th Cir. 1983). 8

In their opposition brief, Plaintiffs admit candidly that their fourth, fifth, and sixth claims

9 seek a determination "[w]hether the Department has recognized the correct governing body." Opp. 10

p. 5. The Court concludes that these claims, challenging Defendants' failure to act on Plaintiffs'

self-determination proposals, simply are not an appropriate means for raising this challenge.

Plaintiffs point to no authority suggesting otherwise. 13

For the reasons discussed above, the fourth, fifth, and sixth claims will be dismissed for lack

14 of standing. Plaintiffs have had three opportunities to state a claim upon which relief may be 15 granted and have failed to do so. Nothing in the record suggests that they will be any more 16 successful if afforded a fourth opportunity. Accordingly, the action will be dismissed with 17 prejudice. 18

IV. MOTION TO INTERVENE

In light of the disposition of Defendants' motions, the motion to intervene will be terminated 20 as moot. 21

V. ORDER

(1) The motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is GRANTED as to the first, second, and third claims, and otherwise is DENIED;

(2) The motion to dismiss for lack of standing is GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as to the fourth, fifth, and sixth claims;

(3) The motion to intervene is TERMINATED AS MOOT;

(4) The action is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE; and

(5) The Clerk shall enter judgment and close the file.


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.