Oral argument was heard yesterday by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Native Americans,’ Walter Rosales and Karen Toggery, appeal of their claims for the desecration of their families’ human remains, when they were unceremoniously dug up, trucked and dumped on CalTrans’ construction site at the junction of SR11-905-125 last year.
CalTrans remains liable for the violation of the Native American Grave Protection Act (NAGPRA), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Health & Safety (H.S.C.), Public Resources (P.R.C.), and Penal Codes, California common law, as well as the violation of Walter and Karen’s First Amendment rights to the Free Exercise of Religion under the U.S. and California Constitutions. For its part in the desecration, CalTrans received a quid pro quo of more than a million cubic yards of fill dirt worth tens of millions of dollars, essentially for free, at $.25, instead of $100, per yard. It didn’t even have to pay for transportation to the site.
The Jamul Indian Village (JIV) former chairman, Kenneth Meza has confessed that he not only knew their families were interred on the government’s portion of the 7 acre Jamul Indian cemetery for 20 years, but that he was an eye witness to the excavation of those remains without notice to, or permission from Walter and Karen, who are their next of kin.
In addition, 20 eyewitnesses and archaeologist Christopher Dore have corroborated Meza’s admission as to the desecration and later unceremonious dumping of the remains on state property, along with the County Death Certificates, California Dispositions of Human Remains, and the Walter and Karen’s demand for mediation to the San Diego Coroner and the Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC), under H.S.C. 7050.5 and P.R.C. 5097.94-98.
In animated questioning, the justices at the 4th District Court of Appeal learned that there is no evidence in the record that the JIV has ever been recognized as a tribe under the procedures adopted by Congress, and that JIV has no right, title or interest, in Walter and Karen’s families’ human remains, now desecrated on state property at the border, and therefore the trial court erred in dismissing the action last year. The Court of Appeal is expected to rule in the next 90 days.
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