DOI to pay Apache man $50K for seized feathers
Monday, April 12, 2004

The Department of Interior has been ordered to pay nearly $50,000 in legal fees to an Apache man whose eagle feathers were seized by federal agents.

Joseluis Saenz is a member of the Chiricahua Apache Tribe. But since the tribe is not federally recognized, the government claimed he was violating federal law against possession of eagle parts by non-recognized Indians.

A federal judge, and later, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, disagreed. They said Saenz's religious rights were violated by the government's overly restrictive definition of "Indian."

Get the Story:
Interior To Pay $50,000 (The Albuquerque Journal 4/12)

Court Decision:
SAENZ v. DEP'T OF INTERIOR, No 00-2166 (10th Cir. August 08, 2001)

Relevant Links:
The Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act -
Migratory Bird Treaty Act -

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