Case involving seizure of tribe's gaming machines is moved to state court

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MOBILE, Alabama — A federal judge has moved a gambling case involving the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians back to Mobile County Circuit Court.

The case involves the 2013 seizure of gambling machines owned by the tribe.

The tribe had argued against the state's ability to seize and destroy 50 gaming machines from the MOWA Choctaw Entertainment Center by the Mobile County Sheriff's Office.

Attorneys for the tribe invoked sovereign immunity, arguing the case could not be heard in state court because the judge lacked jurisdiction, forcing the legal proceedings into federal court. reports ( that U.S. Magistrate Judge Sonia F. Bivins disagreed. Her report and recommendation, dated July 3, will be reviewed by a federal court judge, who will decide how much of her reasoning will be made law.

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