Federal Circuit Decides Wolfchild v. United States Appeal

Here are the materials:

33 United States Appellant Brief

82 Wolfchild Answer Brief

90 Coursolle Descendants Answer Brief

92 US Answer Brief

99 Coursolle Reply

105 Wolfchild Reply

122 Lower Sioux Community, Prairie Island, and Shakopee Amicus Brief

CAFed Opinion

An excerpt:

The United States currently holds certain tracts of land in Minnesota in trust for three Indian communities. It originally acquired some of that land in the late 1800s, using funds appropriated by Congress to help support a statutorily identified group of Indians, and held it for the benefit of those Indians and their descendants for decades. As time passed, that beneficiary group and the three present-day communities that grew on these lands overlapped but diverged: many of the beneficiary group were part of the communities, but many were not; and the communities included many outside the beneficiary group. In 1980, Congress addressed the resulting land use problems by putting the lands into trust  for the three communities that had long occupied them. Ever since, proceeds earned from the lands—including profits from gaming—have gone to the same three communities.

The discrepancy between the makeup of the three communities and the collection of descendants of the Indians designated in the original appropriations acts underlies the present dispute, which was before this court once before. Claimants allege that they belong to the latter group and that they, rather than the communities, hold rights to the land at issue and any money generated from it. Four years ago, based on an extensive analysis of the relevant laws and history, we rejected what was then the only live claim, which got to the heart of their assertion: that the appropriations acts created a trust for the benefit of the statutorily designated Indians and their descendants. Wolfchild v. United States, 559  F.3d 1228 (Fed. Cir. 2009). On remand, claimants advanced several new claims, some of which seek proceeds generated from the lands, others of which seek more. Again unable to
find that claimants have stated a claim that meets the standards of governing law, we now reject these new claims, including the one that the Court of Federal Claims held valid in the judgment we review.

Lower court materials here.

2 thoughts on “Federal Circuit Decides Wolfchild v. United States Appeal

  1. Lizz September 28, 2013 / 5:52 am

    This excerpt sound positive, but u need to read the two other judges judgements they denied us. Erik said we lost 2 to 1. Can judge letttow reverse their judgement.

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