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Rohnert Park casino opponents see new hope in court decision

Foes of the casino proposed on Rohnert Park's northwest boundary have been energized by a U.S. Supreme Court decision that creates new legal avenues for them to attempt to derail the project.

The decision in Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak affirmed a Michigan man's right to sue the federal government over its decision to take land into trust for a tribe that planned a casino there.

The Monday ruling also changed from 30 days to 6 years the length of time available to people to sue the government about such decisions. The Secretary of the Interior took the Graton Rancheria property into trust in 2010.

"That's a huge, huge victory as far as we're concerned," said Mike Healy, a Petaluma councilman who has authored a lawsuit challenging the casino project for the Stop the Casino 101 group.

A similar Stop the Casino 101 lawsuit was dismissed in 2010 by a court that ruled it premature.


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