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Amador County Casino Suit Dismissed

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December 17, 2007

SACRAMENTO - Amador County's lawsuit to stop the lone Band of Miwok Indians from building a $250 million hotel and casino complex was thrown out last Thursday by a U.S. District Judge.

The Miwok plan to build their casino in the town of Plymouth, California, about 15 miles up Highway 49 from the Jackson Rancheria Casino. The small tribe of 535 members has petitioned the US. Department of the Interior to place 228 acres in and around Plymouth into trust for the tribe which is a prerequisite for building their casino.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton issued his order barring the suit as premature by the federal Administrative Procedures Act. The county can sue if the U.S. Department of Interior grants the Ione Band of Miwok Indians' request to take their land into federal trust.

The federal trust decision is a "final agency action," as defined by the Administrative Procedures Act. If the trust is approved, a federal court can review the tribe's plan and the federal process.

In 2006 the Interior Department determined if the land is taken into trust it will qualify as Indian lands on which gambling can be established.

In 2005 the Miwok requested that the land be taken into trust, but their request is still pending.

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