A federal judge today enjoined the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) from any construction activity on a planned gambling facility without first obtaining a building permit from the town.

After a 50-minute hearing in Boston, U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor 4th ruled that the town of Aquinnah had met its legal burden to gain the court order.

While the judge said the town had prevailed, he was also careful to say his decision should not be interpreted as an indication of how he will rule on the underlying case — whether the tribe can build a class II casino on its land in Aquinnah. That issue will be argued before the judge on August 12.

Judge Saylor did indicate that even if he eventually rules that the tribe is legally entitled to build a casino,“it’s going to have to acquire a building permit” from the town.

Tribal leaders who attended the hearing, held in the federal courthouse in Boston Tuesday afternoon, expressed disappointment in the ruling but said they were confident that ultimately their bid to build the casino will be successful.

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