Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

ONEIDA INDIAN NATION OF NEW YORK v. COUNTY

July 1, 2005.

ONEIDA INDIAN NATION OF NEW YORK, Plaintiff,
v.
MADISON COUNTY, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID HURD, District Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER and PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

1. BACKGROUND

  On March 30, 2000, plaintiff Oneida Indian Nation of New York ("Nation") filed the complaint in this action asserting the illegality of a foreclosure action (No. 98-999) brought by defendant Madison County ("County") in New York State Supreme Court, Madison County, on December 1, 1999. Pursuant to an agreement among the parties, the County filed certificates withdrawing the Nation parcels from subsequent proceedings in the foreclosure action. The foreclosure action remained pending and pursuant to a state law the withdrawn parcels could be reinstated. Moreover, each succeeding year the County filed a new foreclosure action against parcels of Nation land and then withdrew those parcels pending a decision in a related case, Oneida Indian Nation of New York v. City of Sherrill, 00-CV-223 ("Sherrill").

  An order was issued in Sherrill on June 4, 2001, the details of which are not relevant to this motion. Orders were also entered on June 4, 2001, in this action denying the County's motion to dismiss for failure to join an indispensable party, granting judgment on the pleadings in favor of the Nation, and enjoining Madison County from imposing property taxes and proceeding with foreclosure of Nation properties. Judgment was entered accordingly. The orders in this action and in Sherrill were timely appealed. In October 2003, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued decisions in this action and in Sherrill. The order in the Sherrill case was affirmed. In this action a mandate issued vacating the judgment in favor of the Nation and remanding for further proceedings. The mandate was filed in the Northern District of New York on October 22, 2003. The judgment was then vacated. The County answered the complaint as directed, on November 6, 2003.

  Also on November 6, 2003, the County moved to stay proceedings in this action pending resolution of the Land Claim Action, No. 74-CV-187. The Nation opposed. The motion was denied on December 12, 2003, after hearing oral argument. No proceedings have taken place since that time in this case.

  The United State Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Sherrill case. On March 29, 2005, a decision was issued and rehearing was denied. That decision is available at 125 S. Ct. 1478 (2005). A mandate has yet to be issued.

  Meanwhile, as had been the practice each year during the pendency of these related cases, the County initiated a foreclosure action, No. 03-999, on November 14, 2003, against 98 Nation parcels, including the parcels that were initially named in the 98-999 foreclosure action. This time, however, the County did not withdraw the Nation parcels from the foreclosure action.

  On April 28, 2005, the County moved for summary judgment in the state court foreclosure actions returnable on June 3, 2005. The Nation requested an adjournment of the return date and also requested an order to show cause why a stay should not be entered due to the litigation of the federal issues in this case. The state court granted a brief adjournment of the return date to July 14, 2005, but declined to enter the order to show cause.

  The Nation then made motions for a preliminary injunction and summary judgment returnable July 8, 2005. The County requested an adjournment of the summary judgment motion. The County noted that this case and Sherrill "raise issues that are critically important to the citizens of Central New York and to State and local Government." (Shraver Letter June 9, 2005.) The County asserted that the summary judgment motion was premature. Id. It argued that the current briefing schedule "would not permit the orderly development of the case, the full development of the record (including both factual and expert materials), or the fair presentation of the issues for consideration by the Court." Id. The County further argued that "there is no urgency in regard to the Motion for Summary Judgment." Id. Finally, the County urged that it "stand[s] ready to work with the Court and the plaintiff toward a reasonable schedule consistent with the complexity, scope and significance of this case." Id. (emphasis added). Notably, however, the County vehemently opposed a stay or adjournment of the state court foreclosure actions.

  After conferencing with the parties, the County's request was granted and the Nation's motion for summary judgment was adjourned without date. The motion for a preliminary injunction was rescheduled. Thereafter, the County filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.

  Oral argument on the Nation's preliminary injunction motion was heard on June 29, 2005, in Utica, New York. Decision was reserved.

  II. ANALYSIS

  The Nation seeks a preliminary injunction prohibiting the County from proceeding in the state court foreclosure actions, propounding that the parcels it owns are not amenable to foreclosure. The All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, provides that "federal courts may `issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.'" United States v. Int'l Brotherhood of Teamsters, 266 F.3d 45, 49 (2d Cir. 2001) (per curiam) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a)). This "includes the power to `issue such commands . . . as may be necessary or appropriate to effectuate and prevent the frustration of orders it has previously issued in its exercise of jurisdiction otherwise obtained.'" Id. at 49-50 (alteration in original) (quoting Sheet Metal Contractors Ass'n v. Sheet Metal Workers' Int's Ass'n, 157 F.3d 78, 82 (2d Cir. 1998)). The power under the All Writs Act is broad and applies to parties and nonparties alike. Id. at 50. A court may issue an injunction "`when needed to preserve the court's ability to reach or enforce its decision in a case over which it has proper jurisdiction.'" Id. (quoting In re Baldwin-United Corp., 770 F.2d 328, 338 (2d Cir. 1985)).

  Jurisdiction is proper in this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1362, & 1367. Thus, a preliminary injunction may issue under the All Writs Act as necessary to aid in that jurisdiction and to preserve the ability to reach a decision in this ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.