Saturday, September 23, 2023
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Indian Tribes Lose Claim|Over Fort Reno Land

(CN) - An Oklahoma Indian tribe is not entitled to jurisdictional discovery in its attempt to regain control of land the federal government used for a military base, the D.C. Circuit ruled.

The Cheyenne Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma sued the United States to quiet title to land that President Chester Arthur had used for Fort Reno.

The Army stopped using Fort Reno in the 1930s, and the tribe claimed a reversionary interest. The two sides settled in 1965, and the government paid the tribe $15 million for the land.

The tribe sued to quiet title in 2004. The government argued that the settlement precluded any future quiet title actions, and that the 10-year statute of limitations had expired.

The district court dismissed, denying the tribe's motion to permit discovery of when the military stopped using Fort Reno. The court pointed to several times that the tribe should have known of government action that was adverse to its reversionary interests.

Judge Griffith upheld the decision.

"We hold that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying jurisdictional discovery, given the absence of any specific indication from the Tribes regarding what facts additional discovery could produce that would affect the court's jurisdictional analysis."

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