Bank of The Sierra v. Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, et al

Filing 20

ORDER Delaying Distribution of Interpled Funds Pending Resolution of Motion to Vacate Dismissal, signed by District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 11/24/2014. (This Court respectfully directs the Clerk of the Court not to release the interpled funds to the Bank of the Sierra until this Court rules on the Unification Councils 15 motion to vacate the dismissal.)(Gaumnitz, R)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE 7 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 10 BANK OF THE SIERRA, a California corporation, 1:14-cv-01044-AWI-SAB ORDER DELAYING DISTRIBUTION OF INTERPLED FUNDS PENDING RESOLUTION OF MOTION TO VACATE DISMISSAL 11 Plaintiff, 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 v. PICAYUNE RANCHERIA OF THE CHUKCHANSI INDIANS, a federally recognized Indian tribe, and CHUKCHANSI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, a wholly owned economic arm of the Tribe, Defendants. __________________________________/ 20 21 Plaintiff, Bank of the Sierra (“Plaintiff”), named the Picayune Rancheria of the 22 Chukchansi Indians (“the Tribe”) and the Economic Development Authority that it operates as 23 defendants in an action (1) contesting the jurisdiction of the “Tribal Court of the Picayune 24 Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians” (“Tribal Court”) to enter a binding order against Plaintiff; (2) 25 seeking to enjoin all Defendants from prosecuting an action against Plaintiff in the Tribal Court; 26 and interpleading funds the amount of $392,407.01. Doc. 1. On October 27, 2014, this Court 27 dismissed the action based on the representations by counsel for Plaintiff and counsel, Lester 28 1 1 Marston, purporting to represent “Defendant Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians” (which 2 this Court now believes to represent the “McDonald Faction”) that the parties had come to an 3 agreement. Doc. 14. Intervenor-Defendant Unification Council (“Unification Council”1) filed a motion to 4 5 vacate this Court’s order dismissing the case. In light of the uncertain status of Tribal leadership 6 and the resulting potential loss of Tribal funds, this Court accelerated the briefing schedule to 7 require Defendant McDonald Faction to file any opposition to Defendant Unification Council’s 8 motion by November 26, 2014. After this Court ordered the McDonald Faction to respond, Mr. 9 Marston contacted the Clerk’s office regarding distribution of the interpled funds. Normally, 10 upon dismissal of an interpleader action where the time for disbursal of funds is not specified the 11 Clerk’s office in this district waits 30 days before disbursal of the funds in question. This case 12 was ordered dismissed on October 27, 2014. The date for release of interpled funds is quickly 13 approaching and the Court has not yet had the opportunity to rule on the Unification Counsel’s 14 motion to vacate the dismissal. For the same reason that this Court expedited the briefing 15 schedule – the uncertain status of Tribal leadership and the potential for loss of Tribal funds – 16 this Court respectfully directs the Clerk of the Court not to release the interpled funds to the 17 Bank of the Sierra until this Court rules on the Unification Council’s motion to vacate the 18 dismissal. Doc. 15. 19 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. 21 Dated: November 24, 2014 SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 For purposes of identifying parties for CM/ECF service, the Clerk’s Office may refer to the party represented by Lester Marston as “McDonald Faction” and the party represented by Robert Rosette and Richard Verri as “Unification Council.” Neither party designation is intended to reflect the legitimacy or (lack thereof) of either entity. 2

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