IDS Life Ins. Co. v. Sunamerica Inc., No. 95 C 1204, 1999 WL 116220, at
*4 (N.D.Ill. Feb. 26, 1999) (Federal court enjoining a party from
proceeding in a state court action where the party requested the federal
court enter a stay so that the matter could proceed to arbitration and
then, in blatant disregard of the stay order, filed a state court action
to confirm the arbitration award).
Lastly, the Nation argues that UCE's state court action challenging the
Gaming Compact must be enjoined because federal courts have exclusive
jurisdiction over tribal gaming matters, and the Nation enjoys sovereign
immunity from the state court action. This court disagrees.
The "aid in jurisdiction" exception of the Anti-Injunction Act clearly
allows a federal court to enjoin a state court proceeding where necessary
to preserve federal jurisdiction over Indian Gaming. See Sycuan Band of
Mission Indians v. Roache, 54 F.3d 535 (9th Cir. 1994). While IGRA has
been held to completely preempt state law, see Gaming Corp. of Am. v.
Dorsey & Whitney, 88 F.3d 536, 547 (8th Cir. 1996), the narrow issues
presented in UCE's state court action — whether the Nation and the
State of New York have entered into a valid Gaming Compact — do not
appear to be preempted. The Appellate Division recently held that whether
a state has validly bound itself to a gaming compact is an issue of state
law. See Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce Inc. v. Pataki,
275 A.D.2d 145, 712 N.Y.S.2d 687, 695-96 (3d Dept. 2000) ("IGRA says
nothing specific about how [to] determine whether a state and tribe have
entered into a valid compact" (quoting Pueblo of Santa Ana v. Kelly,
104 F.3d 1546, 1557 (10th Cir. 1997))); see also Gaming Corp. of Am., 88
F.3d at 544 ("The only avenue for significant state involvement is
through tribal-state compacts governing class III gaming.")
Indeed, courts have indicated that the validity of a gaming compact
involves an interpretation of both federal and state law. See Pueblo of
Santa Ana v. Kelly, 104 F.3d at 1557, Willis v. Fordice, 850 F. Supp. 523,
532 (S.D.Miss. 1994), aff'd, 55 F.3d 633 (5th Cir. 1995) (unpublished
table decision). In addition, as the New York Appellate Division, Third
Department noted in Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce Inc., the Federal
Department of Interior has opined that a governor's authority to enter
into a tribal compact is a matter of state law. See 712 N.Y.S.2d at 696.
Given the authority above, the court concludes that for the purposes of
this motion, IGRA does not preempt UCE's state court challenge to the
Gaming Compact. Accordingly, it is unnecessary for the court to issue
injunctive relief "in aid of its jurisdiction." Additionally, while it is
clear that the Nation's sovereign immunity prevents UCE from obtaining
personal jurisdiction over the Nation in the state court action, see
Matter of Ransom v. St. Regis Mohawk Educ. & Community Fund, 86 N.Y.2d 553,
558, 635 N.Y.S.2d 116, 658 N.E.2d 989 (1995), that issue likewise does
not warrant injunctive relief under the Anti-Injunction and All-Writs
Acts. See ONBANCorp, Inc., 1997 WL 381779, at *8 ("Proper concern of a
federal court under the Anti-Injunction and All-Writs Acts is solely to
protect and enforce its orders.") (emphasis added).
UCE's state court action does not interfere with this court's
jurisdiction. Further, the court determines that UCE did not file its
state court action for an improper purpose. Accordingly, the court denies
the Nation's motion pursuant to the All-Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651,
seeking an stay enjoining UCE from pursuing an action filed in Supreme
Court, County of Oneida, captioned as Peterman v. Pataki, No. 99-533.
IT IS SO ORDERED.