Pojoaque Pueblo files new suit in New Mexico gaming feud

A view of the Buffalo Thunder Resort at Pojoaque Pueblo in New Mexico. Photo from Facebook

Pojoaque Pueblo filed a new lawsuit against the state of New Mexico on Saturday as part of an ongoing dispute over the tribe's gaming enterprise.

The complaint accuses Gov. Susana Martinez. (R) of failing to negotiate a Class III compact in good faith as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It also accuses the New Mexico Gaming Control Board of interfering with companies that do business with the tribe.

"The state’s jurisdiction over gaming activities on the Pueblo’s Indian lands terminated at midnight on June 30, 2015," the complaint reads. "The state’s established policy and practice is to wrongfully assert state jurisdiction over gaming activities on the Pueblo’s Indian lands and deprive all individual enrolled members of the Pueblo, as well as all employees and agents of the Pueblo the federal right to conduct activities on the Pueblo’s Indian lands free from the exercise and reach of the state’s jurisdiction."

Martinez signed new compacts with several other tribes before the June 30 date. But Pojoaque is resisting higher revenue-sharing terms, claiming it could be forced to eliminate jobs and cut back programs.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs questioned the higher rate, wondering whether tribes are getting anything substantial in return. But the agency allowed the agreement to take effect to the extent its provisions remain consistent with IGRA.

To avoid the new terms, Pojoaque asked the BIA to issue Class III gaming procedures. A federal judge, however, put a halt to the process in a lawsuit filed by the state.

The dispute is now before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Attorney's Office has said it won't take action against the tribe while the case is pending.

Turtle Talk has posted the complaint in the new case, Pueblo of Pojoaque v. State of New Mexico.

Get the Story:
Pojoaque suit claims interference (The Albuquerque Journal 7/21)

Relevant Documents:
BIA Deemed Approved Letter (June 9, 2015)

Federal Register Notice:
Indian Gaming (June 22, 2015)

Related Stories
Santa Clara Pueblo wants Pojoaque Pueblo to shutter casinos (7/16)
Pojoaque Pueblo resists higher revenue sharing rate at casinos (7/15)
Four more tribes in New Mexico enter Class III gaming compact (07/02)
Editorial: Pojoaque Pueblo gets pass on illegal gaming operation (07/02)
Pojoaque Pueblo keeps casino open after gaming deal expires (7/1)
Pojoaque Pueblo at critical juncture with Class III gaming deal (6/30)
Pojoaque Pueblo places casino manager on administrative leave (04/24)
Pojoaque Pueblo seeds scholarship fund with gaming revenues (01/12)
Opinion: Tribal and state governments should get out of casinos (12/22)
Appeal set in Pojoaque Pueblo Class III gaming compact dispute (12/16)
Law Article: Judge restricts BIA authority in Class III dispute (10/23)
Judge won't let BIA proceed with compact for Pojoaque Pueblo (10/20)
Judge won't issue injunction in Pojoaque Pueblo compact dispute (09/12)
New Mexico sues to stop Class III decision for Pojoaque Pueblo (08/08)

Join the Conversation