Federal Court Rejects Challenge to Interior Approval of Buena Vista Rancheria of the Me-Wuk Tribe Gaming Compact

Here are the materials in County of Amador v. Jewell (D.D.C.):

76-1 Amador County Motion for Summary J

77 US Response

81 Amador County Reply

83 US Reply

84 DCT Order

An excerpt:

At the center of this dispute is a proposed gaming operation on the Buena Vista Rancheria of the Me-Wuk Tribe located in Amador County, California. In 2000, pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”), 25 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2721, the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior (the “Secretary”), approved a gaming compact between the MeWuk Tribe and the State of California. The gaming compact was later amended in 2004 to provide for an expanded gaming operation. Although it had not challenged the 2000 gaming compact, Plaintiff, Amador County, challenges the Secretary’s approval of the amended compact, claiming that the Buena Vista Rancheria does not qualify as “Indian land”—a requirement under the IGRA.


Having reviewed the parties’ submissions, the record of the case, and the relevant legal authority, the Court concludes that: (1) Amador County stipulated that it would treat the Buena Vista Rancheria as a reservation; (2) Amador County is barred from arguing in this litigation that the Rancheria is not a reservation; and, alternatively, (3) the Secretary is authorized to declare that the Rancheria is a reservation for purposes of the IGRA. Therefore, the Court will DENY Amador County’s motion for summary judgment and GRANT the Secretary’s cross-motion. The reasoning for the Court’s decision is set forth below.

This entry was posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, IGRA, Research and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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