Supreme Court of Virginia Rules Against Mattaponi Indian Tribe

King William Reservoir supporters gain momentum


VIRGINIA BEACH , VA , November 4, 2005 — The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled today in favor of King William Reservoir supporters, but did not provide a clear victory.


Thee ruling resolved a number of disputes involving the State Water Control Board (SWCB), the Mattaponi Indian Tribe, and several Peninsula localities, all arising from the proposed King William Reservoir. Three separate appeals were consolidated into today’s opinion, in Alliance to Save the Mattaponi v. State Water Control Board.


The court ruled that claims by the Mattaponi cannot be made against the state or the SWCB.  However, it did not completely close the door on them, saying the Mattaponi could file suit against the city of Newport News.


The case was unique because the court had to interpret a 17thCentury treaty between the Mattaponi Indian Tribe and the King of England. 


About L. Steven Emmert

Appellate lawyer L. Steven Emmert of Virginia Beach authors the Web site “Virginia Appellate News & Analysis” at .  He is available to the media as an Expert Resource for comment, analysis, and help wading through the legalese of the ruling at (757) 965-5000.  Emmert is also Chairman of the Appellate Practice Subcommittee for the Virginia State Bar’s Litigation Section.


L. Steven Emmert contact ,
(757) 965-5000