Current Status

9th Circuit Appeal Timeline

On March 16, 2022 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed down a historic ruling confirming that the federal government can be held accountable for its failure to provide general education to Native American students.

On January 14, 2021 Plaintiffs filed notice of appeal focused on the District Court’s grant of summary judgement to Defendants on Plaintiffs’ claim under the Administrative Procedures Act and the District Court’s dismissal on standing and mootness grounds of several Student Plaintiffs.

On June 25, 2021  Plaintiffs file their opening brief.

District Court Timeline

On October 2, 2020, Arizona District Court Judge Steven Logan approved a historic settlement in a civil rights lawsuit brought by students attending Havasupai Elementary School and the Native American Disability Law Center (NADLC) addressing the wholesale denial of educational opportunities for Native American students with disabilities. The settlement resolves only the claims challenging the BIE’s failure to meet the needs of students with disabilities; the Plaintiffs will appeal the Judge’s denial of the claims challenging the denial of basic general education to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

On March 29, 2018, Plaintiffs won their first major court victory. In a historic ruling, a federal court in Arizona denied the federal government’s motion to dismiss claims brought by Havasupai students and the Native American Disability Law Center.

The court ruled, for the first time in the nation, that the federal government must meet the educational needs of Native American students attending schools run by the federal Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) by affirmatively addressing the mental health and wellness needs of students impacted by trauma and childhood adversity. Click HERE, to read plaintiff statements in response to the motion to dismiss ruling.

On August 9, 2017, the Department of Justice filed a partial motion to dismiss, which, among other things, sought to dismiss students not currently enrolled in Havasupai Elementary School from the case and to dismiss student claims for appropriate mental health and wellness resources. On September 5, 2017, the Havasupai Tribe and the Society of Indian Psychologists filed amicus briefs in support of the student plaintiffs.  On October 24, 2017, the Judge heard oral argument on the Defendants’ motion.  Because the motion filed by the Defendants is only a partial motion to dismiss, the case will move forward regardless of the Judge’s ruling.

Current as of March 2022