February 12, 2013
The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, a federally-recognized Indian tribal government that owns and operates Red Hawk Casino, last week won a permanent court injunction against Cesar Caballero, an individual who has falsely claimed affiliation with the Tribe and its Red Hawk Casino. The Tribe sued Caballero in late 2008, upon discovering that he had filed a fictitious business statement with El Dorado County, thereby holding himself out as doing business as the "Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians." Caballero filed a countersuit seeking, among other things, entitlement to revenues from Red Hawk Casino. U.S. District Judge John Mendez dismissed that countersuit with prejudice.
This issue and its associated legal battles have been ongoing for years, during which Caballero undertook a number of actions designed to confuse the public about his affiliation with the Tribe and his right and title to the Tribe's property and federally-recognized sovereign status, through misappropriation of the Tribe's federally-recognized name. Among other things, Caballero diverted the United States Postal Service's delivery of the Tribe's mail to his personal mail box by submitting false paperwork to the USPS. This was a crime for which Caballero was subsequently charged and convicted by the United States. Caballero has appealed that criminal conviction.
Judge Mendez granted judgment for the Tribe and issued the broad injunction on Friday, Feb. 7, 2013. The decision details a list of the names and combinations of words that Caballero may not use to create any more public confusion regarding his affiliation with the Tribe and its Red Hawk Casino.
Caballero claims entitlement to the Tribe's lands, and to Red Hawk Casino that the Tribe built there. It was only after the Shingle Springs Band cleared all legal hurdles to securing access for its then-landlocked reservation, and was in construction on Red Hawk Casino, that Caballero laid claim to the Tribe's heritage.
"We are pleased that this matter has come to an end," said Nicholas Fonseca, Chairman of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. "It was very important to our membership and our various enterprises that we set the record straight."
The permanent injunction will empower the Tribe to enforce its rights against Caballero for all time, should he try to confuse the public or third parties about his affiliation with the Tribe. "The case should stand as an example of the Tribe's intent to protect its fully legal rights against anyone who would take similar action against the Tribe," Chairman Fonseca said.
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