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Ninth Circuit Rules for Guam Airport in Ancestral Lands Case

On March 1, 2019 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Guam International Airport Authority (GIAA) in a case brought by Vicente Crawford seeking compensation for the Airport's use of ancestral lands.  CFJ represented both GIAA and GIAA Board Chair Ricardo Duenas in the case and all claims were dismissed against both parties.  CFJ's Genevieve Rapadas had argued the case on behalf of GIAA and Chairman Duenas at the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco on November 15, 2018.  See our post CFJ's Rapadas Argues for Airport for more information.

The case before the Ninth Circuit is an appeal of a 2017 decision by Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood of the District Court of Guam, who dismissed Crawford's lawsuit that had been filed against the government of Guam, including GIAA.  Rapadas, who successfully argued the summary judgment in the lower court, expressed her sympathy for the plaintiff saying that “as a daughter of Guam I empathize with Crawford and the ancestral landowners," but pointed out GIAA's lack of involvement or obligation in the process of potential compensation for the landowners.

The court's opinion is here: Crawford v GIAA, No. 17-16942