Federal Court Dismisses Case Allowing Banishment of Tribal Members

Federal Court Dismisses Case Allowing Banishment of Tribal Members January 08, 2020


January 16, 2020

In 2018, the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the United States violated federal law by treating reservation lands “as though they were owned by the United States (US) outright, rather than in trust for the Tribe.” The Northern Ute Tribe (Tribe), as they are commonly known by, claimed the US wrongfully appropriated revenue related to the sale or lease of lands within the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. It added, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) employees entered and trespassed onto the Reservation lands without the Tribe’s authorization.


The Tribe sought injunctive relief with an order quieting title in the name of the United States. Plaintiffs, enrolled members of the Tribe, filed a motion to intervene. They argued the land should be preserved only for the Uintah Band of Ute Indians instead of the Northern Ute Tribe. The motion to intervene was opposed by the Tribe and the court denied the Plaintiff’s motion.



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