The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the decisions of Judge Lasnik in US District Court in favor of the defendants Lummi Island Scenic Estates Community Club (LISECC) and rejected the appeal of Charles Ortego and other plaintiffs.

The suit claimed that individual defendants operated the LISECC as a racketeering enterprise using mail fraud to deceive property owners into paying over a million dollars in illegal dues. Plaintiffs sought damages and fees under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).  These claims were dismissed in a summary judgement in December 2016.

Charles Ortego and other plaintiffs appealed to the US Court of Appeals, with a hearing on June 12, 2018. The Court of Appeals rejected the appeal stating, "The district court properly determined that Lummi Island Scenic Estates Community Club, Inc. (LISECC) has continuing authority to govern all of the properties comprising Lummi Island Scenic Estates".

Request for rehearing denied

Proving that he is truly incapable of taking no for an answer, Charles Ortego requested a rehearing by the same three-judge panel that rejected his claims and has requested rehearing en banc (by the entire Ninth Circuit) on July 5, 2018, which is rarely granted even in meritorious cases.  

On July 30, the judicial panel of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously denied a petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc

According to LISECC attorney Jessica Goldman, "The only avenue for review remaining is a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.  At this point, this case concerns only issues of state law and there is zero chance the Supreme Court would accept review."


  • Charles E. Ortego & Anna S. Ponomareva
  • John S. Apolis & Marcia Apolis
  • Victor D. Armfield
  • Charlene Baldridge as Trustee for Cokd Trust
  • La Priel C. Barnes
  • Boyd Barry
  • Midana Bilik-Franklin
  • Grant P. Bowery
  • Andrew Chalmers
  • Jennifer L. Dubrow
  • Edson A. Engel & Patricia G. Engel
  • Linda Fengler
  • Fischer Trucking, LLC (David J. Fischer, Principle)
  • Stephan R. Freelan
  • Ruth Gross
  • Joy Krell
  • Edward Earl Lawsom
  • Lummi Island Land Company (Jim Dickinson, Agent)
  • Mark Mech
  • Lee G. Mundstock
  • Richard Owen
  • Gerald G. Schroeder
  • Hugh B. Smith & Terrie L. Smith
  • Thomas L. Waggoner & Rosalee Waggoner
  • Louise Weber & John M. Weber


  • Lummi Island Scenic Estates Community Club, Inc.
  • Mark R. Sexton & "Jane Doe" Sexton (wife)
  • Douglas Cash & "Jane Doe" Cash (wife)
  • Ronald C. Bain & "Jane Doe" Bain (wife)
  • Leslie M. Dempsey & Paul C. Dempsey
  • Bridged Lott & "John Doe" Lott (husband)
  • Meredith Moench
  • Kent C. Nielsen & "Jane Doe" Nielsen (wife)
  • Timothy Slater & "Jane Doe" Slater (wife)
  • Kenneth Swanson & "Jane Doe" Swanson (wife)