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CRIT evicts Blythe Boat Club
May 26, 2011

On Tuesday, May 17, 2011 the Colorado River Indian Tribal Court ruled to evict the Blythe Boat
Club after negotiations with the long-standing tenant broke down; forcing the Tribes on May 25th
to remove the club, which was operating without a valid lease, from Tribal lands.

For over 30 years, the Tribes admired the work done for the community by the Blythe Boat Club,
and were pleased to have such an organization as a tenant. While the Boat Club had originally
occupied the premises pursuant to a "Quitclaim" deed, it obtained a permit for "non-commercial use"
with the Colorado River Indian Tribes in 1972. Unlike most other property deeds, a quitclaim deed
contains no title covenants; thus, offers the grantee no warranty as to the status of the property title.

Blythe Boat Club was an entity that not only paid its rent in a timely manner, but also one that made
substantial improvements to the land, as promised.  In addition, Blythe Boat Club made their facilities
available for use: to youth organizations and other public service agencies, at little or no cost - which
benefited the community as a whole. In turn, Colorado River Indian Tribes, for decades, showed its
appreciation by keeping the rent below market rates.

For over 15 years the Colorado River Indian Tribes had a positive relationship with the  Blythe Boat
Club: a good tenant, in good standing, until December 31, 2004, when the last valid lease ended by
its own terms.

When negotiations between the Colorado River Indian Tribes and the Blythe Boat Club started on a
new lease, or an extension of the then-current lease, a new rental amount could not be agreed upon.
So Blythe Boat Club decided to go "rogue", paying what they thought was fair.  They paid rent
according to "their" proposed schedule for all of 2005, but stopped paying this rent by mid-2006.

When Blythe Boat Club was questioned over their "rogue" practices, they suddenly asserted that t
hey had "renewed" their lease for a 5-year option period, as allowed under the terms of their previous
lease.  Colorado River Indian Tribes disagreed with this "interpretation" and told them to vacate the
premises, at which time they refused, and also refused to pay any more rent to" Colorado River
Indian Tribes.

Since mid-2006, Blythe Boat Club occupied the land without paying rent, and without the benefit
of a current lease. In mid-2009, the Colorado River Indian Tribes' Office of the Attorney General
attempted to reopen communication lines between the parties: presenting an "Offer of Compromise",
stating the Tribes' terms. 

Although discussions ensued and the Tribes, in the spirit of compromise, offered a new lease at
below-market rent, Blythe Boat Club's current leadership decided to reject the Tribes' offer. 
Still attempting to reach an amicable agreement the Tribes gave them additional opportunities to
restart negotiations, but Blythe Boat Club chose to sever all ties.

Realizing that all hope of a negotiated resolution was gone, Colorado River Indian Tribes initiated
the eviction action in September 2010.

Blythe Boat Club, at this time, tried to argue their two main points for not negotiating a new lease:
for one, they claimed the tribes did not have the authority to lease the land, because it was not
reservation land, at which time the Colorado River Indian Tribes' Office of Attorney General offered
as evidence, a lawsuit already won: entitled U.S. V. Lonesome Valley Land Company, Inc, in
which the Federal District Court, for the Central District of California, confirmed that the land leased
by Blythe Boat Club is owned by the United States, and is reserved (held in trust) for the Colorado
River Indian Tribes. This federal case law supports the Tribes assertion of ownership and authority
in the Western Boundary area of the Colorado River Indian Tribes' homeland.

Their second argument was that the past lease "misidentified" the land; therefore, Blythe Boat Club
claimed their past lease was invalid and the Colorado River Indian Tribes could not use it to evict
them - a claim unsubstantiated by any court in the United States of America.

After the Colorado River Indian Tribes' Court reviewed all evidence and documentation regarding final
arguments, it granted the Tribes' Motion for Summary Judgment, confirming Blythe Boat Club had no
substantial evidence to support their arguments.

After considering all the evidence, documentation and arguments in the case, the Colorado River Indian
Tribes Tribal Court granted the Tribes' Motion for Summary Judgment, confirming Blythe Boat Club
had no substantial evidence to support their arguments.

The eviction process itself was mostly peaceable, and as required by the Court, the Tribes allowed Boat
Club members to remove their personal effects without interference. One member of the Club chose to
resist removal, and was escorted off the premises by Tribal Police officers. Unfortunately, the member
reentered the premises, promising to peaceably remove personal effects and exit the premises without
further dispute, but subsequently refused again to leave the premises. After being thoroughly apprised
of the legal ramifications of her actions, during which time she acknowledged that she understood the
situation and the consequences of her actions, the member continued to refuse to leave, was arrested
for criminal trespass, and removed from the premises by Riverside County Sheriff's officers.

CONTACT: The Office of Communications and Public Relations,
Ivy Ledezma
Type: Press Release