Native American Tribe Files Lawsuit Against Arizona Governor, Attorney General

The Tohono O’odham Nation has filed a lawsuit against Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, as well as Attorney General Mark Brnovich in the wake of a dispute over a planned $450 million casino project in the community of Glendale.

Native American Legal Disputes

Since announcing plans for a new West Valley casino, the Tohono O’odham tribe has faced increased state opposition to the project. The casino, which is currently in its $200 million first phase of construction near the University of Phoenix, drew resistance and criticism from the Arizona Department of Gaming, which refused to provide the necessary gaming licenses to employers and vendors.

According to the claim, the casino has also drawn opposition from the Salt River Prima-Maricopa tribe, as well as the Gila River Indian Community, both of which operate casinos in the Phoenix metro area.

The claim cites the 2002 gaming compact, which was approved by Arizona voters, as a source of disagreement between the disputing tribes, as well as other political foes. However, federal courts have already ruled in favor of the O’odham’s West Valley plans, citing a law passed in 1986 that enables the O’odham tribe to replace lands once lost in the Tucson area with land parcels in the Phoenix market.

As a result, the O’odham tribe of Southern Arizona has added the West Valley property to its portfolio of holdings, and continues plans to move forward with the casino’s construction. At the time of writing, legal teams for the disputing parties were still reviewing the case for any further legal action.

Native American Legal Issues in Oklahoma

Like many communities throughout the West and Southwest, Oklahoma is rich with Native American culture. Attorneys who specialize in Native American law, sometimes referred to as ‘Indian law’, assist tribes in resolving disputes, including:

  • State-tribal relationships
  • Federal-tribal relationships
  • Intra-tribal relationships
  • Relationships between Indians whose rights implicate the tribe, the state in which they reside or the United States

Additionally, Native American legal issues can manifest themselves in disputes between Indians and non-Indians, or those between individual Native Americans, as well as cases between individuals, tribes and businesses or corporations.

In Oklahoma, these types of legal issues frequently arise, and they tend to be very complex. As a result, it is of the upmost importance that, if you are embattled in a Native American legal dispute, you seek the counsel of a qualified attorney who specializes in this facet of law.

At Rick Dane Moore and Associates, we understand the many nuances of tribal law. Our founder, Rick Dane Moore, is a member of both the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Oklahoma Indian Bar Association, and has a long history of handling Native American legal disputes for tribes and individuals in the state of Oklahoma.

As a result, our team has become well versed in the complexities of Native American law, and is prepared to tackle your claim head-on. We can provide the knowledge and expertise that you need to resolve your claim quickly and effectively.

We welcome your call to discuss your tribal law dispute. For additional information, or to schedule your initial consultation, we invite you to call us at (405) 366-0373.