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E-M:/ South Fox litigation



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Enviro-Mich message from "Upton, Brian" <BUPTON@mail.gtbindians.com>
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On December 26th, the Grand Traverse Band filed a complaint in the Leelanau
County Circuit Court, asserting that the approved land exchange on South Fox
Island violates state statutes governing land exchanges, as well as
Michigan's Environmental Protection Act (MEPA).  The Band also filed a
motion for preliminary injunction.  After a hearing yesterday morning, the
judge denied the Band's motion for a preliminary injunction.  However, he
also repeatedly reiterated that he could undo the exchange later should we
prevail in the litigation.

Below are links to articles from the Leelanau Enterprise and Traverse City
Record-Eagle regarding the South Fox Island land exchange litigation.  

Leelanau Enterprise story (1/3/01):
http://www.leelanaunews.com/editorialread.lasso?recid=35586

Traverse City Record-Eagle story (1/4/01):
http://www.record-eagle.com/2002/jan/04sfox.htm


At present, the Attorney General's office has yet to certify that the state
would be receiving "good and sufficient title" to the properties and that
they are "free from any liens or encumbrances", as required by state
statute.  The AG is waiting to get feedback on the issue from the title
insurance agency.  It is the Band's position that, regardless of whether or
not title insurance is available for the properties, the statute is intended
to protect against the DNR acquiring title deficient properties that may
have encumbrances in the form of legal claims.  Since that is exactly what
the DNR would be getting under the land exchange it has approved on South
Fox Island (due to federally-preserved Indian claims on certain South Fox
properties), we believe that the Attorney General should therefore refuse to
certify the exchange in accordance with the state statute (MCL 324.2106).


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