Pauma Band of Luiseno Mission Indians v. California, No. 14-56104 (9th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
This appeal stemmed from a dispute between Pauma and the State over Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. Pauma filed suit against the State based on the court's prior decision in Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community v. California (Colusa II). The district court granted summary judgment to Pauma on its misrepresentation claim. The court held that once a court’s judgment interpreting an ambiguous contract provision becomes final, that is and has always been the correct interpretation from its inception. Therefore, the court concluded that Colusa II's interpretation of the Compacts’ license pool provision applies retroactively, such that the State would be deemed to have misrepresented a material fact as to how many gaming licenses were available when negotiating with Pauma to amend its Compact; the district court awarded the proper remedy to Pauma by refunding $36.2 million in overpayments; and the State has waived its sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. The court agreed with the district court's finding that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), 25 U.S.C. 2710, is inapplicable in this case and therefore Pauma's argument that the State acted in bad faith is irrelevant. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.