SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The state of California does not have to defend the validity of its gaming compacts against a host of Indian tribes, only against the tribe that challenged it in court, the 9th Circuit ruled.
The Colusa tribe claimed that California breached the Indian gaming compact by placing unilateral restrictions on the number of the gaming devices the tribe could add to its total.
Judge Canby overruled the decision of the district court, which found that the Colusa lawsuit could not proceed without the participation of other Indian tribes in California.
“The absent tribes are required parties to this action only if they claim an interest relating to the subject of the action,” Canby wrote.
The case will return to district court for further proceedings.