The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians was issued an injunction against a man claiming to be affiliated with the tribe on Feb. 7.
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The tribe, which owns and runs Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs, filed a lawsuit against Cesar Caballero in 2008 after the man filed a business statement with El Dorado County using the name of the tribe, a press release stated. Caballero filed a countersuit, claiming entitlement to revenues from the casino. The countersuit was dismissed with prejudice by U.S. District Judge John Mendez.
Caballero took many actions “designed to confuse the public about his affiliation with the tribe” during the ensuing legal battle, lasting years, the press release stated. Caballero sought entitlement to the name and federal status of the tribe after progress was made in building the casino, at one point diverting mail to his own mailbox. In court, Caballero was found guilty of mail tampering and served jail time.
The decision to allow an injunction against Caballero included a list of names Caballero would not be able to use.
“We are pleased that this matter has come to an end,” said Nicholas Fonseca, chairman of the tribe. “It was very important to our membership and our various enterprises that we set the record straight.”
Fonseca continued, “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.”
When asked for comment, Kim Stoll, a representative for the casino tribe, said that Caballero could indeed be a Miwok Indian, but he was not from the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians.
Caballero, in an e-mail to the Mountain Democrat, maintained that the tribe running the casino is not a Miwok tribe and has no Bureau of Indian Affairs identification.
“It is illegal for them to sign contracts, therefore falsely representing themselves as Miwok Indians, by paying off state and county officials,” Caballero wrote. “I was issued identification that shows my Miwok ancestry from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The other citizens of my tribe, which are indigenous Indians of El Dorado County, California also, have proof of their Miwok identity.”
Caballero also claims that the tribe stole his tribe’s identity, and that his fight to be able to use the name “Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians” was marred by illegal practices.
“I was promised a jury trial, and was in the end denied my constitutional rights including that trial,” Caballero stated. “I was held in solitary confinement for three months for not signing over my tribe’s business license and tax identification number which we acquired first. The court forced me to remove from the internet documents acquired from the National Archives and Library of Congress. They never proved financial trademark use. They have done everything in their power to silence the true Miwok Indians, El Dorado County’s own.”
Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or [email protected] Follow @CMayerMtDemo.