California COA Briefs in Individual Capacity Suit Arising at Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians

Here are the briefs in Brown v. Garcia:

Opening Brief

Here is a description of the matter from the appellant brief:

This is a tort case concerning Respondents’ publication of defamatory statements against Appellants and whether Appellants are entitled to monetary damages from Respondents in their individual capacities as a result.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Research, sovereign immunity | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Ninth Circuit Denies En Banc Petition in Tavares v. Whitehouse

Here are the materials:

CA9 Order Denying Petition

En Banc Petition

Prior posts here.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Research, tribal constitutions, tribal courts, tribal membership | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Scholarship on Hopi Religious Freedom and Cultural Property

Here, from the Maryland Journal of International Law:



Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Scholarship | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Review of The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America

My review of Andrés Reséndez’s The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America is up on JOTWELL: Equality. I highly recommend the book. It’s a dense and emotionally difficult read but well worth it for the knowledge you will gain. One of the things I was struck with was that the removal of Indian children from their homes by social services agencies has its roots in hundreds of years of stealing Indian children into slavery.

Posted in Author: Ann Tweedy, Human Trafficking, legal history, Research | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ninth Circuit Rejects Mishewal Wappo Trust Breach Claim

Here are the materials in Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley v. Zinke:

Unpublished Opinion


Opening Brief

Federal Answer Brief

Amicus Brief


Other posts with lower court materials here.


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Judge Garfield Hood Walks On


Mike Petoskey: “Michigan’s Tribal Court – State Court relations were built upon his shoulders.  He stands for the proposition that one judge can pick up the phone and call another judge across jurisdictions to discuss matters of mutual concern and to collaborate.”

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Michigan Indian, News, tribal courts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Jenn Weddle Guest Commentary on Lewis v. Clarke

This was the best possible result in this case (a narrow remand).  Justice Sotomayor’s opinion keeps tribal employees on equal footing with federal and state employees and decides the import of indemnification provisions – really have nothing to do with Indian law and instead having everything to do with government employee indemnification law.  The result seems to be a reasonable limiting principle for the Court.

The Court also left open the official immunity arguments (upon which amici focused) because those were not raised by Clarke in his motion to dismiss.  The record didn’t have findings on that, but the NCAI/States/Tribes amici brief laid out the arguments as an ‘alternative theory’ as to why the Connecticut Supreme Court had been right in the result.

It is reasonable to anticipate that Clarke will now argue those matters on remand.  And this case will go back to Connecticut District Court, with the Lewises now divorced and vastly undercutting their loss of consortium claims, such that the remand may well go away quickly in settlement before it even begins.

I don’t see that tribes or tribal employees lose any ground as a result of this opinion.  Importantly, the official immunity arguments were not touched by the Court (per footnote 2), and I don’t see the majority opinion as saying anything negative for tribes’ role in our federalism.


Opinion and materials here.

Posted in Research, sovereign immunity, Supreme Court | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pascua Yaqui Tribe Seeks Lawyers

Here are the postings for . . . .

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, jobs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Central Arizona Water Conservation District Responds to Ak-Chin Suit; Seeks Federal Joinder

Here are the new materials in Ak-Chin Indian Community v. Central Arizona Water Conservation District (D. Ariz.):



Complaint is here.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Research, water rights | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tenth Circuit Upholds Interior’s Authority to Release Gray Wolves in New Mexico

Here is the opinion in New Mexico Dept. of Game and Fish v. Dept. of the Interior.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Environmental, Research | Tagged , , | Leave a comment