Judge dismisses lawsuit over Geronimo’s remains

New Haven, Connecticut (AP) August 2010

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by descendants of the Apache warrior Geronimo, who claimed some of his remains were stolen in 1918 by a student society at Yale University.

The lawsuit was filed last year in Washington by 20 descendants who want to rebury Geronimo near his New Mexico birthplace.

It claimed Skull and Bones members took some remains from a burial plot at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where Geronimo died in 1909.

Judge Richard Roberts during July granted a Justice Department motion to dismiss, saying the plaintiffs didn’t establish the government had waived its right not to be sued without its consent.

He also dismissed the lawsuit against Yale and the society, saying the plaintiffs cited a law that applies only to Native American cultural items excavated or discovered after 1990.

Skull and Bones is not officially affiliated with Yale.