State continues fight against tribe
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NOVEMBER 27, 2000

The state of Illinois is trying to help 15 citizens being sued by the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma for the return of 2.6 million acres of land in 15 counties there.

The state asked a federal judge to include them in the suit, but he denied their initial request. The state still wants to join the suit, which names 15 private landowners named at random by the tribe.

A bill establishing a legal defense fund for the landowners passed the Senate earlier this month and will be considered by the House. A separate bill, introduced by Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R-Illinois) in July, would amend federal law to allow the property owners to use state law defenses against land claim lawsuits when a governmental entity, such as a state or the United States, is not named.

Get the Land claim bill:
A bill to permit landowners to assert otherwise-available state law defenses against property claims by Indian tribes (S.2909)

Get the Story:
State of Illinois Seeks to Help Landowners Fight Tribal Suit (The New York Times 11/27)
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Related Stories:
Miami Nation presses forth with land claim (Tribal Law 10/18)
Senator: Tribe must play by the rules (Tribal Law 07/26)

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