American Indian Church Leader Sues Utah Officials Over Civil

April 28, 2005

Source: The Associated Press

On April 28, 2005 The Associated Press reported, "the leader of an American Indian church is suing county officials who unsuccessfully prosecuted him for using peyote during religious ceremonies.

James 'Flaming Eagle' Mooney, in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, accuses officials in Utah County of civil rights violations, including unlawfully searching his property in October 2000 and confiscating thousands of peyote buttons.

Mooney, who is part American Indian, also claims the county officials have refused to return the items even though he was vindicated by a state Supreme Court ruling last June that found that non-American Indian members of the Native American Church can use peyote in religious ceremonies."