Friday April 10, 2015 may be the day a group of California based Chukchansi Indians have been waiting for. In October 2014, the Chukchansi Gold Casino and Resort was raided by police and shut down due to a dispute between two rival groups. Two leaders of the tribe, King and Vernon, have been jailed and are hoping for a dismissal of charges. There are an additional 15 arrested who also hope for the charges to be dropped.
The Madera County Superior Court under Judge Dale Blea will need to decide on Friday if there is jurisdiction for the Madera County Sheriff to actually make the arrests and file legal charges.
King and Vernon believe the state does not have the jurisdiction to file charges or take them to trial. Both men also believe they had the right to hire a police force, which are some of the defendants awaiting for charge dismissals. However, Public Law 280 has provided California with state rights, which may include the ability to make arrests and file charges against Native Americans. The court hearing will decide what charges, if any will proceed.