Redding Rancheria v. Jewell

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Indian Law
  • Date Filed: 01-20-2015
  • Case #: 12-15817
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Schroeder for the Court; Circuit Judge Lipez; Partial Concurrence and Partial Dissent by Circuit Judge Callahan
  • Full Text Opinion

The “restoration of lands” exception to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act permits one casino on restored tribe’s land if there is a “modern,” “historical,” and “temporal” connection to the land presently in question and the Tribe’s original land.

The Redding Racheria Tribe (“the Tribe”) placed a request with the Department of the Interior to take into trust a substantial parcel of real property it received in order to construct and operate a new gambling casino on restored lands, in addition to the casino it already owned and operated. Prior to the request being denied by the Secretary of the Interior (“Secretary”), the Tribe wrote a letter stating that they would close the original casino once the new one was fully operational. The district court granted summary judgment to the government, deciding that the Tribe’s request did not fall under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”) exception for allowing gaming to take place on restored lands because the Tribe was already operating a casino on land previously acquired, and IGRA prevents the operation of multiple casinos on restored land. On review, the Ninth Circuit determined that the Secretary did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in denying the Tribe’s request because the regulation is reasonable under the IGRA. However, the panel held that the Tribe’s willingness to close the original casino once the new one became operational suffices under the IGRA, and the Secretary’s decision to deny the application without considering evidence that allows for such acceptance was arbitrary and capricious. AFFIRMED in part, REVERSED and REMANDED in part.

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