Findleton v. Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians

The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Findleton entered into the Construction Agreement for a gaming facility. In 2008 (10 months later), the Tribe suspended construction because the financial meltdown had adversely affected its ability to secure financing. In 2012, Findleton sought to compel ADR under the Agreement The Tribe asserted that it had not waived its sovereign immunity or consented to suit in the state court and that Findleton’s failure to exhaust his tribal administrative remedies deprived the court of jurisdiction. Findleton cited resolutions by the Tribal Council, waiving immunity. The Tribe has a General Council, consisting of all tribal members 18 years or older, and the Tribal Council, an elective body consisting of seven members of the General Council whose powers are more narrowly circumscribed. The Tribe’s constitution does not permit the Tribal Council to waive sovereign immunity without the General Council’s “consent” and “prior approval.” The court of appeal reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the action, finding that the Council was authorized to waive the Tribe’s immunity and did so in resolutions adopted in 2008 and on June 2, 2007, “in order to attract other individuals and entities to do business with the Tribe.” View "Findleton v. Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians" on Justia Law