Business | Law

Judge allows discovery in Yakama Nation lawsuit over FBI raid

The Obama administration must provide information about a February 16 raid on the Yakama Nation in Washington, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

The tribe sued Attorney General Eric Holder and other federal defendants after the FBI raided King Mountain Tobacco Co., a tribal-licensed business that grows tobacco on the reservation. The FBI notified the tribe's commissioner of public safety via text message -- after the raid already started.

"The court agrees with Yakama's argument that discovery as to the policies that govern the federal defendants’ actions with the Yakama, particularly with regard to notification and limitations on actions while on tribal lands, and discovery as to the federal defendants' decision not to notify the Yakama before entering onto tribal lands, as well as discovery regarding the actual entry onto tribal lands is needed to establish whether the court has jurisdiction," Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson wrote in the decision.

The tribe contends the failure to notify ahead of time violated the Yakama Treaty of 1855.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Yakama Nation v. Holder.

Related Stories:
Yakama Nation tobacco raid lawsuit includes many defendants (7/18)
Yakama Nation sues federal government over raid of tobacco firm (3/11)
Yakama cigarette firm raided after filing lawsuit against state (2/18)

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