|January 23, 2014
Court dismisses 100 Percent lawsuit
PABLO — A lawsuit filed in CSKT’s court challenging the Tribe’s handling of petitions that sought to distribute 100 percent of the Salazar settlement was dismissed this week.
Judge BJ Jones dismissed the case both for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and on tribal sovereign immunity grounds. The decision stated that the Salazar monies were clearly not intended for individual tribal members, although nothing prevents the tribal government from making a decision to distribute that way. The plaintiff, The People’s Voice, claimed that the members of its organization have a property right to the entire proceeds from the Salazar settlement, and that the Tribe’s refusal to distribute the proceeds purely on a per capita basis constituted a taking of property without just compensation. The court found both of these arguments lacking.
“The Salazar settlement simply did not vest any individual tribal members with a legal right to demand any of the settlement proceeds,” write Judge Jones. “There is a huge disconnect between what the Plaintiff is complaining about and what it is seeking to do to address it.”
The ruling can be found by clicking here (4.9 MB PDF).