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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Dan JACKSON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. OFFICE OF NAVAJO AND HOPI INDIAN RELOCATION, an Administrative Agency of the United States, Defendant-appellee.

No. 18-17247

Decided: September 28, 2020

Before: SCHROEDER, W. FLETCHER, and HUNSAKER, Circuit Judges. Lee Phillips, Attorney, Law Office of Lee Phillips, P.C., Flagstaff, AZ, for Plaintiff-Appellant Peter Michael Lantka, Assistant U.S. Attorney, USPX - Office of the US Attorney, Phoenix, AZ, Thekla Hansen-Young, Attorney, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Washington, DC, for Defendant-Appellee


Dan Jackson appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation (“ONHIR”) affirming the denial of his application for relocation benefits.

We review the district court's grant of summary judgment de novo. Brunozzi v. Cable Commc'ns, Inc., 851 F.3d 990, 995 (9th Cir. 2017). We review ONHIR's decision to determine if it was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, not in accordance with law, or unsupported by substantial evidence.” Bedoni v. Navajo-Hopi Indian Relocation Comm'n, 878 F.2d 1119, 1122 (9th Cir. 1989); see also 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), (E). “Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla but less than a preponderance.” Bayliss v. Barnhart, 427 F.3d 1211, 1214 n.1 (9th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted); see also Tylitzki v. Shalala, 999 F.2d 1411, 1413 (9th Cir. 1993) (per curiam) (“Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.”).

The parties are familiar with the evidentiary record in this case, and we do not recite it here. Although there may be sufficient evidence in the record to support an award of benefits, the decision of the ONHIR Hearing Officer denying benefits is supported by substantial evidence. We therefore affirm the decision of the district court upholding ONHIR's decision denying benefits.


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