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San Carlos Apache Tribe v. United States
United States District Court for the District of Arizona
272 F. Supp. 2d 860 (2003)
In the 1920s the United States (defendant) built a dam pursuant to federal legislation to provide irrigation for an Indian reservation and for private non-Indian land. The level of the reservoir fluctuated greatly depending on precipitation and irrigation needs. The San Carlos Apache Tribe (the tribe) (plaintiff) ran fishing and camping operations on the reservoir. In 1999 the tribe brought a lawsuit for common-law nuisance in federal district court against the federal government and various federal agencies to enjoin the release of water, seeking to maintain a specific minimum volume of water in the reservoir. The tribe claimed that the draining of the reservoir below this minimum level threatened injury and health risks to the public and to tribe members. The federal government moved to dismiss the suit on the ground that the tribe had failed to provide the requisite notice under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bury, J.)
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