Jamul Action Committee (JAC) and  Jamul Community Church (JCC)  v. National Indian Gaming Commission(NIGC)/Bureau of Indian Affairs(BIA)/Department of the Interior(DOI)

Brief Overview of the Lawsuit

  • Filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, Sacramento
  • 4 claims triggered by NIGC’s “Indian Lands Decision” (ILD)
  • First published by NIGC in Federal Register April 10, 2013
  • Notice to Prepare Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Approval of Proposed Gaming Management Contract between JIV and San Diego Gaming Ventures, LLC (Penn National Gaming)

1.         Violation of Indian Reorganization Act (IRA)

Carcieri v Salazar (2009) U.S. Supreme Court

  • Tribe not recognized under federal jurisdiction in 1934
  • Not a body politic–never had inherent sovereignty because:
    • Not a single identifiable group of Indians
    • Did not govern itself – Not function as a single autonomous political entity
    • Only Landless Indians living on J.D. Spreckel’s Ranch in 1934

2.         Violation of Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA)

Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak (2011) U.S. Supreme Court

  • Land doesn’t qualify for gambling under IGRA, 25 U.S.C. 2703
  • Not a reservation of federal public domain land
  • Only Congress can grant jurisdiction to a tribe - United States v. Sandoval
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of BIA – Can’t grant jurisdiction to a tribe
  • Land never in trust for tribe
  • Land never transferred to tribe
  • Tribe never lawfully exercised governmental power over land
  • Land in trust for ½ blood Jamul Indians including Walter & Karen
  • Tribe added 1/4 blood members prevents lawful exercise of governmental power over deed
  • BIA’s 2000 FOIA response admits Parcel is not under JIV governmental power
  • Land not described in tribe’s constitution
  • IGRA prohibits gambling on land acquired after 1988
  • Where 2 governors, Davis & Schwarzenegger found:
  • Significant un-mitigable adverse environmental impacts
  • Inconsistent with Multi Species Conservation Plan
  • Inimical to public health, safety and welfare

3.         Violation of 10th Amendment and Principles of Federalism

Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs (2009) U.S. Supreme Court

  • U.S. can’t take private state land not in public domain to make a reservation without State Legislature ceding jurisdiction to federal government
  • And ONLY if purchased or condemned by U.S. – not by Daley gift
  • California Legislature has not ceded jurisdiction over the parcel

4.         Violation of National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA)

  • No Environmental Review, No Environmental Assessment, No Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before ILD
  • No fair review of significant environmental impacts
  • No reasonable alternative considered
  • No mitigation of 203,000 square foot, 10 story, $360 million casino with 1700 slots
  • Environment, Aesthetic and Economic Harms:
    • Irreparable damage to rural community
    • Air, Water, Light Pollution
    • Increased Traffic Deaths and Accidents
    • Increased Crime
    • Decreased Property Values
    • Diversion of Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Resources

State Clearinghouse Document - Only document received by State of California. The State Office of Planning and Research (OPR) was notified of the SEIS, but does not have the gaming management contract or any of the supporting documents or the related draft environmental documents.  The NIGC (and BIA) probably have copies of these documents, but they have not yet circulated them for public comment.

The OPR had a one document in their file: Notice of Completion & Environmental Document (below).  They did not have a copy of an EIS with respect to a gaming management contract. They did not have a proposed SEIS. In fact, they did not have the SEIS notice. Nor did they have a copy of the proposed gaming management contract.   OPR has said that, if they were not in the file,  they did not receive or have any of those documents from JIV or the NIGC.

From US Attorney: There would be a public meeting and an opportunity for public comment before the SEIS is finalized. The US Attorney also acknowledged, in the recently filed joint status report, that the gaming management compact could not be approved before the SEIS is approved. (See Joint Status Report below)

Summary:  OPR does do not have copies of an EIS that addresses any gaming management compact.  Nor do they have an EIS for the Indian lands determination made in the SEIS.  Nor do they have a copy of the proposed gaming management contract or the draft SEIS.  Nor has there been any opportunity for public comment as required by NEPA. It is disingenuous for Penn National Gaming to claim that their gaming management contract will be approved by the NIGC soon.