Judge dismisses lawsuit over Mesa Grande land
The Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians of California can't sue the federal government over a century-old land dispute, a federal judge ruled last month.

The Mesa Grande Band sued the Bureau of Indian Affairs to change the status of two land deeds. The patents had been placed in the name of the Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueño Indians in 1893.

The Mesa Grande Band argued that the BIA could cancel the patents and reissue them in its name. But Judge Larry Burns said doing so would interfere with the "United States’ trust commitment" to the Santa Ysabel Band.

Burns also said the Mesa Grande Band waited too long to sue. The case should have been filed back in 1893, but no later than 1976, the judge said.

The patents total about 6,300 acres. A number of Mesa Grande members live on the tracts.

Get the Story:
Intertribal dispute won't head to federal court (The San Diego Union-Tribune 10/20)

Court Documents:
Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians v. Salazar (Turtle Talk September 2009)

Related Stories:
Mesa Grande Band sues to settle land dispute (04/30)