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U.S. Department of the Interior
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What Can Happen after a Decision Is Issued?

What If I Disagree with the Board's Decision?

A party to an appeal who disagrees with the Board's decision may file a petition for reconsideration (see 43 C.F.R. 4.315) or may appeal the decision to Federal court.

How Do I Ask for Reconsideration?

Any party to the case may ask the Board to reconsider its decision. See 43 C.F.R. 4.315. You must file your petition for reconsideration within 30 days of the date of the Board's initial decision. Petitions that are not timely will be dismissed. See Displaced Elem Lineage Emancipated Members Alliance v. Sacramento Area Director, 34 IBIA 119 (1999).

The Board will only reconsider its decision in extraordinary circumstances. The Board has granted reconsideration when its initial decision was based on a clear error of fact or law. See, e.g., City of Eagle Butte, South Dakota v. Aberdeen Area Director, 18 IBIA 21 (1989) (portion of land at issue in a trust acquisition case was no longer owned by an Indian when the Board issued its decision); United Indians of All Tribes Foundation v. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs (Operations), 11 IBIA 276 (1983) (the regulation on which the Board relied in its initial decision had been deleted). The Board has also granted reconsideration when there was a need to clarify the decision because of possible misinterpretations of the initial decision. See, e.g., Bien Mur Indian Market Center v. Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs (Operations), 14 IBIA 242 (1986).

However, the fact that you do not agree with the Board's decision is not grounds for reconsideration. See, e.g., Needles Lodge v. Acting Phoenix Area Director, 31 IBIA 123 (1997).

The Board will not address arguments you raise in a petition for reconsideration if it addressed the same arguments in the original decision. See Brooks v. Muskogee Area Director, 25 IBIA 96 (1994).

The Board will not address arguments you raise for the first time in your petition for reconsideration. See Pima Country Club, Inc. v. Phoenix Area Director, 21 IBIA 70 (1991).

You may file only one petition for reconsideration. Multiple petitions for reconsideration will be dismissed. See Keester v. Acting Aberdeen Area Director, 21 IBIA 73, recon. denied, 21 IBIA 133 (1991).

You are not required to file a petition for reconsideration in order to exhaust your administrative remedies, and the filing of a petition for reconsideration does not affect your time for seeking judicial review of a Board decision.

How Do I Go to Court?

The Board's decisions may be appealed to the appropriate United States District Court. The Board does not establish time limits for filing for judicial review. You will need to determine the time limits for seeking judicial review.

What Happens if the Court Sends My Case Back to the Department?

If a Federal court remands a matter to the Board, the Board will establish procedures for addressing the matter on remand. To the extent the court's order allows, the parties will be consulted in recommending those procedures. The Board may further remand the matter to an ALJ or to the BIA deciding official. See 43 C.F.R. 4.316.

Links to Additional Frequently Asked Questions