Enterprise Rancheria wins decision in gaming compact lawsuit

The Enterprise Rancheria plans to build a gaming facility at this site along Forty Mile Road south of Yuba City. Image from Google Maps

A federal judge ordered the state of California to enter into Class III gaming compact negotiations with the Enterprise Rancheria.

Judge Troy Nunley determined that state acted in "bad faith" by failing to ratify a compact signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D). The decision appears to be the first of its kind because it holds a legislative body responsible under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

"The nearly two-year period of inaction by the legislature before the compact expired, and no additional activity since then, supports a finding of IGRA bad faith negotiation," Nunley wrote in the 23-page decision.

Brown, though, bears some responsibility because he refused to come back to the table after the legislative inaction. He's argued that voters soundly rejected off-reservation gaming by rejecting a compact for a different tribe in November 2014.

In any event, Nunley ordered the parties to negotiate a new agreement within 60 days. Otherwise, he said the Bureau of Indian Affairs might have to issue Class III gaming procedures for the tribe, something that hasn't happened in California.

After the compact failed, the tribe announced plans for a Class II facility on a 40-acre site that has been placed in trust. Other tribes with existing casinos have been fighting the project in federal court.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria v. State of California.

Get the Story:
Judge sides with Enterprise Rancheria on casino compact suit (The Marysville Appeal-Democrat 2/19)

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Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet | Two-Part Determination Letter

Federal Register Notice:
Land Acquisitions; Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California (December 3, 2012)

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