Quantum Entertainment Ltd. v. Dept. of the Interior, No. 12-5133 (D.C. Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Agreeing with the Board, the district court ruled that Quantum's 1996 Management Agreement with the Pueblo was null and void for lack of approval by the Secretary as required by 25 U.S.C. 81, and that it was incapable of being validated by the 2000 amendment to section 81, the application of which would be impermissibly retroactive. Applying Landgraf v. USI Film Products, the court concluded that Congress made no clear statement that it intended the 2000 amendment to apply retroactively. The court also concluded that, because the 1996 Agreement required Secretarial approval that was never obtained and the parties agreed that the Agreement would be valid without Secretarial approval under section 81 as amended, the application of the new law would give life to a null and void agreement, thereby attaching new legal consequences to it. Although the Pueblo may have voluntarily undertaken the stated duties and liabilities under the Agreement, such an agreement was null and void without Secretarial approval before 2000. Since the Secretary never approved the Agreement, any legislative validation of the duties or liabilities attached to it was impermissibly retroactive. Accordingly, the court affirmed the grant of summary judgment.