Appeals court hears PCI dispute

Published 3:51 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A federal appeals court heard arguments in a hearing Tuesday in Atlanta, in the long-going battle between the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and Attorney General Luther Strange.

A three-judge panel at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta listened to Strange’s appeal, after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against PCI in April 2014. Strange’s office had argued that PCI was operating illegal slot machines, but Judge W. Keith Watkins granted PCI’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit last year.

Watkins ruled that PCI can offer electronic bingo machines without the state’s approval, due to the tribe’s federal recognition.

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The hearing was completed Tuesday afternoon. It will likely be several months before a ruling on the state’s appeal is announced.

PCI does not comment on ongoing litigation.