By Miriam Raftery
April 17, 2014 (Jamul) – Superior Court Judge Ronald Prager heard arguments today in a lawsuit by family members alleging that a contractor for Jamul Indians removed and dumped human remains. The families seek an injunction to halt construction of a casino that the tribe is building at the Jamul Indian Village site.
Plaintiffs contend that a contractor for the tribe, C.W. Driver, dug up the families’ remains from the historical cemetery at the casino site and dumped the human remains, with Caltrans permission on the state’s construction site for a new freeway interchange in Otay.
Judge Prager has given Caltrans until Friday, April 19 to respond and set an emergency hearing for April 22 on the request for injunctive relief.
The suit was filed on behalf of Native Americans Walter P. Rosales, Karen Toggery, and the estates of several deceased family members.
A prior suit filed by the families against the tribe was dismissed in federal court.
The tribe was not sued in the current suit. Chairman Raymond Hunter told the UT San Diego that the Jamul Indian Village “has no record of remains placed legally in any place other than the cemetery.” Hunter also stated, “Our tribe reveres and honors our ancestors and the passing of all tribal members.”