Crow Tribal Housing Auth. v. HUD

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Tribal Law
  • Date Filed: 03-26-2015
  • Case #: 13-35284
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Cristen for the Court; Circuit Judges Nguyen and Fisher
  • Full Text Opinion

When the Department of Housing and Urban Development is acting under the authority provided in 25 U.S.C. §§ 4165, an on-site investigation resulting in deductions in grant payouts triggers the opportunity for a hearing, but the party being investigated must invoke the right to a hearing in a timely manner.

The Crow Tribal Housing Authority (“Crow Housing”) receives funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) for housing assistance purposes on its reservation. In 2001, HUD performed an audit of several tribes that were receiving funding and determined that Crow Housing had received a surplus of funds due to a technical mistake in HUD’s payment formula. HUD informed Crow Housing of its mistake and informed them that to recover the overages, HUD would deduct future payments made to the tribe. Crow Housing claimed that the deductions were unjust because the Tribe was never granted a hearing to object to the deductions. The district court held that HUD had the authority to deduct the charges, but that the absence of a hearing violated Crow Housing’s right to due process. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit explained that because HUD was acting under the authority provided in 25 U.S.C. § 4165, the on-site investigation of Crow Housing conducted by HUD allowed for an opportunity for Crow Housing to request a hearing. However, the panel explained that because Crow Housing did not request a timely hearing, HUD acted legally and did not deprive Crow Housing of its due process rights. VACATED, REVERSED, and REMANDED.

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