United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 19 and 20, 2018, the Quileute Indian Tribe, Hoh Indian
Tribe, Quinault Indian Nation, and Suquamish Indian Tribe
filed Motions for Reconsideration asking the Court to
reconsider its prior Order regarding boundaries of the
Quinault and Quileute U&As. Dkts. #442, #444, #445 and
#448. These Tribes essentially argue that the western U&A
boundaries established by this Court fail to account for
Quileute and Quinault whaling and sealing voyages in
directions other than due west from the coast. Dkts. #442 at
3-4 and #445 at 3. Accordingly, these Tribes ask the Court to
reissue its Order and adopt boundaries based on “radial
lines representing multidirectional” voyages. Dkts.
#442 at 6-7 and #445 at 6-7. At the Court's direction,
the Makah Indian Tribe and the State of Washington provided
responses to those Motions. Dkts. #452, #453 and #456. The
Court now DENIES the Motions for Reconsideration.
for reconsideration are disfavored.” LCR 7(h).
“The court will ordinarily deny such motions in the
absence of a showing of manifest error in the prior ruling or
a showing of new facts or legal authority which could not
have been brought to its attention earlier with reasonable
diligence.” LCR 7(h)(1). In this case, the Court is not
persuaded that it should reconsider its prior Order.
9, 2015, the Court entered lengthy Findings of Fact and
Conclusions of Law, determining that the western boundary of
the Quinault Indian Nation's usual and accustomed fishing
ground in the Pacific Ocean is 30 miles from shore, that the
western boundary of the Quileute Tribe's usual and
accustomed fishing ground in the Pacific Ocean is 40 miles
offshore, and the northern boundary of the Quileute
Tribe's usual and accustomed fishing ground is a line
drawn westerly from Cape Alava. Dkt. #369. However, the Court
also noted that it had not received evidence at trial
specifying the longitudes associated with the U&A
boundaries determined therein. Accordingly, in order to
delineate the boundaries with certainty, the Court directed
the parties and interested parties to brief the precise
longitudinal coordinates associated with the boundaries set
forth herein. Id. In response, Quileute and Quinault
advocated for western U&A boundaries drawn as straight
lines, from north to south, regardless of the distance from
shore as these lines diverged from the actual coastline.
Dkts. # 372-#375. The Makah proposed slanting lines
approximating the shoreline at the travel distances
adjudicated by this Court. Dkt. # 377. The State generally
concurred with the Makah, but proposed a boundary that
tracked the shoreline. Dkt. # 381. In Reply, the Quileute and
Quinault defended their initial boundaries, but proposed an
alternative western boundary charted as
“waypoints” based upon a “radius”
approach. Dkt. # 388 at 8-10. The Court ultimately adopted
the longitudinal and latitudinal boundaries proposed by the
Quileute, Quinault and Hoh. Dkt. #394.
matter was then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals. Dkts. #396 and #398. While the Court of Appeals
affirmed in large part this Court's determinations, it
reversed this Court with respect to its determination of the
Quileute's and Quinault's U&A boundaries. Dkt.
#435. The Court of Appeals stated:
The parties agreed as to the northern boundaries but
“dispute how the parties believe the Western boundary
for the Quileute and Quinault should be demarcated as the
line proceeds south.” The court decided to use
longitudinal lines because it had done so in a prior
proceeding with respect to the Makah's boundaries. The
court started at the northernmost point of the Quileute's
U&A, drew a line 40 miles west, and used that
longitudinal position as the western boundary for the entire
area. The court did the same with 30 miles for the Quinault.
The map below depicts the final result.
The Makah takes issue with the court's use of a straight
vertical line because the coastline trends eastward as one
moves south. The Makah calculates the coast-to-longitude
distance at the southernmost point as 56 miles for the
Quileute and 41 miles for the Quinault. In other words, the
Quileute's and Quinault's southernmost boundaries
respectively extend 16 miles and 11 miles beyond the
court's finding of usual and accustomed fishing, and
their total areas respectively sweep in an extra 413 square
miles (16.9% of the total 2, 228 miles). The result would be
different, for example, had the boundary lines been drawn
parallel to the coastline.
These significant disparities underscore the deficiencies in
the court's longitudinal boundaries. . . .
. . .
Accordingly, we reverse the district court's order
imposing longitudinal boundaries. Because the law does not
dictate any particular approach or remedy that the court
should institute, we leave it to the court on remand to draw
boundaries that are fair and consistent with the court's
Dkt. #435 at 23-27.
remand, this Court reviewed its Findings of Fact and
Conclusions of Law and Memorandum Order (Dkt. #369), along
with its Amended Order Regarding the Boundaries of Quinault
and Quileute U&As (Dkt. #394), and numerous other
documents (Dkts. #372-#383 and #388), and determined that the
State of Washington's method of determining the
boundaries at issue are most consistent with this Court's
determinations regarding boundaries in this matter, and
addresses the Court of Appeals' concerns with the
Court's prior conclusions. See Dkts. #381 at ...