Lawsuits opposing proposed Yuba County casino consolidated
Two lawsuits attempting to stop Enterprise Rancheria from forming and building a casino in Yuba County have been consolidated.
It's still not clear, however, if the federal government will take the land for the Yuba County Indian casino project into trust anytime soon.
Suits by the tribe behind Colusa Casino Resort, Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln and a number of individuals and groups opposed to the expansion of Indian gaming were consolidated and assigned to US District Court in Sacramento this week.
The plaintiffs have also requested a temporary restraining order against the US Department of the Interior to prevent the agency from taking 40 acres near Sleep Train Amphitheatre into trust for the casino.
"Problem gaming, drunk driving, social disturbances and increases in crime all undermine the quality of life the surrounding community enjoys," reads a statement filed by plaintiff Sandra Gilbert, a Wheatland-area resident, in support of the temporary restraining order.
"Yet the environmental review does not address the increases in petty crime, including vandalism, burglaries, purse snatching, pick pocketing, and other crimes, except to say there would not be a substantial increase in crime," reads the statement filed Tuesday.
Other plaintiffs in the consolidated complaint against the Department of the Interior include Yuba County Supervisor Andy Vasquez, Sutter County Supervisor James Gallagher, the owners of a Wheatland Mexican restaurant and Assemblyman Dan Logue.
In another filing, the plaintiffs requested a federal judge rule on a restraining order by Feb. 1, when the federal government could take the land into trust.
Nedra Darling, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a division of the Department of the Interior, said because litigation has been filed, department policy prevented her from commenting on the matter.
A spokesman for Enterprise Rancheria's sponsoring tribe, the Estom Yumeka Maidu, said he had no immediate comment on the consolidation or relocation of the suits.
The spokesman, Charles Altekruse, said the tribe had not heard about possible timing for casino land being taken into trust.