Village sues DOI over Oneida Nation land-into-trust documents


A view of the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin. Photo from Facebook

A community in Wisconsin with a history of antagonism against the Oneida Nation is seeking numerous land-into-trust documents regarding the tribe.

In July 2014, the village of Hobart asked the Interior Department for all "Land index reports, title status reports, title documents, ownership records, instruments, conveyance and encumbrance documents, and any other documents showing the status of title ownership" for a slew of tribal properties. The village also sought copies of any correspondence between the tribe and DOI regarding other lands on the reservation.

The information, however, was never provided. So the village filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday, alleging violations of the Freedom of Information Act.

"Defendants’ failure to comply with the applicable time limit provisions of the FOIA, and failure to make promptly available the records sought by plaintiff’s requests, violates the FOIA and corresponding agency regulations," the complaint in Hobart v. Department of the Interior states.

It's not clear why the village wants the information in question. But the village has repeatedly tried to impose taxes and fees on tribal trust land and has opposed the tribe's land-into-trust requests.

The village's director of community development and tribal affairs is the former leader of an anti-Indian group.

Get the Story:
Hobart sues federal government (Fox 11 News 3/3)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court won't hear suit over fees on Oneida Nation land (5/27)
7th Circuit blocks village from imposing fees on Oneida Nation (10/23)
Village debates appeal after losing Oneida Nation taxation case (9/7)
Oneida Nation wins lawsuit over local taxation of trust property (9/6)

Join the Conversation