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Modoc Nation Prevails in Challenge to Airport Acquisition

04 May 23

On May 1, 2023, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Peebles Kidder client Modoc Nation in a challenge to the Nation's acquisition of a municipal airport located in Northern California.

The federal action was brought by a special interest group, the Tule Lake Committee, which sought to undo the City of Tule Lake's decision to sell the Tulelake Municipal Airport to the Modoc Nation in 2018. In a brief six-page memorandum opinion, the three-judge panel rejected the Committee's claims against the City of Tulelake and the Nation based on a 1951 federal land patent transferring the airport property to the City and the Federal Airport Act of 1946. The Court held that the patent did not provide a basis for jurisdiction and that the airport act did not contain an express or implied right of action.

The Peebles Kidder team representing Modoc Nation and the City of Tulelake in this case and other related cases includes partners Michael Robinson, Patrick Bergin, and Blake Follis.

Read more here: https://www.law360.com/nativeamerican/articles/1603041/9th-circ-oks-airport-land-sale-to-tribe-amid-historic-claims