SACRAMENTO – A Native American tribe has filed a suit seeking declaratory relief over the proposed development of a casino.

Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians filed a complaint on July 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against United States Department of the Interior, Sally M. Jewell and Lawrence S. Roberts seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment in order to be allowed to stop the development of a casino/hotel resort on the Madera Parcel by a neighboring tribe. They allege that the parcel does constitute as Indian lands for gaming per the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The suit states that the proposed facility would cause financial harm to the plaintiff tribe's gaming facility because the patrons of the plaintiff tribe's facility would instead go to the proposed casino instead.

The plaintiffs seek declaration that the Madera Parcel does not constitute Indian lands, injunctive relief prohibiting the department from taking any action concerning the Madera Parcel, all legal fees and any other relief as the court deems just. They are represented by John M. Peebles, Steven J. Bloxham, Michael A. Robinson, Timothy J. Hennessy and James Qaqundah of Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP in Sacramento.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California Case number 1:16-cv-00950-AWI-EPG

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