ALTURAS INDIAN RANCHERIA v. CALIFORNIA GAMBLING CONTROL COMMISSION
ALTURAS INDIAN RANCHERIA, a federally recognized Indian tribe, Plaintiff,
CALIFORNIA GAMBLING CONTROL COMMISSION, an agency of the State of Calfiornia, Defendant.
No. CIV. S-11-2070 LKK/EFB.
United States District Court, E.D. California.
August 10, 2011.
LAWRENCE K. KATLTON, District Judge.
Plaintiff in this case is the Del Rosa faction of the Alturas Indian Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian Tribe. Plaintiff has filed an ex parte application for a Temporary Restraining Order that would enjoin defendant California Gambling Control Commission from releasing funds held in trust for the Tribe to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is attempting to collect the funds pursuant to a "Notice of Levy," which plaintiff became aware of on or about July 20, 2011.I. BACKGROUND
On August 1, 2011, Plaintiff, the Del Rosa Faction of the Alturas Indian Rancheria filed suit against the California Gambling Control Commission ("CGCC") in Sacramento County Superior Court. See Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. The complaint, which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, alleges that plaintiff is entitled to monetary distributions from California's Revenue Sharing Trust Fund ("RSTF"). Pursuant to state law, those funds are distributed quarterly to participating tribes through the CGCC, as trustee. According to plaintiff, "at the beginning of 2010, the CGCC determined that a leadership dispute within the Tribe required the Commission to withhold RSTF distributions pending resolution of the dispute."1 On or about July 20, 2011, plaintiff became aware that the IRS had contacted the CGCC seeking levies against the Tribe's RSTF funds.2 At a meeting held on July 28, 2011, the CGCC voted to recognize the levies and to allow the IRS to execute the levies. Plaintiff claims that the Tribe has no knowledge of what the levies correspond to, and requested time from the CGCC for the Tribe investigate the matter directly with the IRS. Plaintiff alleges that the CGCC's conduct constitutes breach of a tribal-state compact, and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
On August 1, 2011, plaintiff filed an application for a Temporary Restraining order in state court, which was set for hearing on August 4, 2011. On August 3, 2011, defendant CGCC removed this action to federal court.