Law | National

Non-Indian tenant plans to fight Colorado River Indian Tribes

A view of the reservation of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. Photo by Jessica Ledezma / Facebook

A non-Indian tenant who has refused to pay rent to the Colorado River Indian Tribes plans to continue his fight.

Roger French was evicted by the tribal court and was ordered to pay $250,000 in legal expenses plus 17 years of back rent, The Los Angeles Times reported. He claimed that the land in question does not fall within reservation boundaries.

In a decision last week, Judge John Tuchi did not address the boundary issue. He instead determined that French agreed to the tribal jurisdiction as far back as 1983.

The Interior Department has long contended that the western boundary lies at the high-water mark of the Colorado River as it existed in 1876. That would include the disputed lands.

French argues that the boundary is riparian in nature, meaning that it moves with the river. That would mean the disputed lands fall under California's jurisdiction.

French will now be taking the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Get the Story:
Tribes legally evicted Colorado River reservation tenant, judge rules (The Los Angeles Times 2/19)

Related Stories:
Judge backs Colorado River Indian Tribes in jurisdiction case (2/17)
Non-Indians refuse to pay rent to Colorado River Indian Tribes (01/15)
Colorado River Indian Tribes don't plan to remove 'illegal aliens' (1/12)
Petition asks CRIT to remove non-Indians from disputed territory (1/7)
California supports non-Indian man in reservation boundary case (12/16)

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