Tohono O'odham Roadblock Incident

Bureau of Indian Affairs:

The lawsuit was initially filed in state court because we wanted issues of state law to be adjudicated. The defendant's had a different goal in mind however and sought refuge with the federal government after the lawsuit was filed. The defendant's claimed they were operating under contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and consequently the lawsuit had to go forward in the federal courts. A certification from the United States Attorney General's Office was solicited and received by the defendant's which authenticated their claim of being federal employees for purposes of our malicious prosecution claim. The federal judge accepted the certification and the malicious prosecution claim was dismissed without prejudice because our administrative remedies with the agency the defendant's were under contract with had not been exhausted.

So began the paperwork trail for yet another federal agency involved in this jurisdictional quagmire - the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

I filed a FOIA request with the Bureau of Indian Affairs seeking a copy of the contract alleged in July of 2004. The BIA failed to provide a copy via my FOIA requests but we did manage to procure a copy of the contract through the discovery process in the civil lawsuit.

Additionally, I filed a tort claim against the BIA in January of 2005 for malicious prosecution after the court barred action against the defendants in the civil lawsuit. The BIA responded to the claim by denying it based upon the specious reasoning that malicious prosecution against the agency was not allowed under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Now that I have exhausted all my administrative remedies under the law, we have filed a motion with the court to include to roll the malicious prosecution claim back into the lawsuit. The court has accepted the motion but we expect the issue to be severed into a separate action against the United States by the judge in the near future.

You will find documentation related to my FOIA requests and the malicious prosecution tort claim below.

FOIA Documentation:

Document Title:
Filing Date:
File Type:
Initial FOIA Request - The United States Attorney for the District of Arizona, Paul Charlton, claims the TOPD is acting under contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and as such, the defendant's in the lawsuit were acting within the scope of their federal employment. Mr. Charlton failed to provide me with a copy of the alleged contract so I have specifically requested it from the BIA via a FOIA request.
29 KB pdf
Second FOIA request - The original FOIA request was mailed certified on July 18, 2004. Postal service records indicate the request was received by the Bureau of Indian Affairs four days later. As of January 2005, I had not received a response.
146 KB pdf
BIA Response - The Washington, D.C. based BIA FOIA Officer finally responds & redirects my request to the BIA field office in Phoenix, Arizona. This only took 7 months....
149 KB pdf
Phoenix BIA FOIA Request - A letter to the Phoenix BIA Office asking them to acknowledge receipt of the FOIA request
24 KB pdf

Tort Claim Documentation:

Document Title:
Filing Date:
File Type:
BIA Tort Claim - A tort claim filed against the Bureau of Indian Affairs for malicious prosecution. This claim was initially filed against the TOPD but Judge Roll allowed the U.S.A. to be substituted in as the defendant for this claim. As such, I must pursue this claim against the BIA instead
351 KB pdf
BIA Tort Claim Acknowledgement  - The Phoenix branch of the BIA acknowledges receipt of the tort claim
307 KB pdf
Confirmation Letter - My letter confirming their receipt of the tort claim
459 KB pdf
BIA Tort Claim Reply - The BIA denies the tort claim
121 KB pdf

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