Quapaw Tribe Prevails in Series of Trust Breach Claims against US

Here are the materials in Quapaw Tribe v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

83 Quapaw Motion for Partial Summary J

92 US Opposition

99 Quapaw Reply

119 DCT Order

An excerpt:

This case involves the claims of the Quapaw Indian Tribe of Oklahoma for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust obligations. On April 6, 2015, the Quapaw Tribe filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the following three grounds: (1) that the Government is liable for annual educational payments of $1,000 from 1932 to the present under the Treaty of 1833; (2) that the Government is liable for $31,680.80 in unauthorized disbursements from the Quapaw Tribe’s trust accounts, as found in the 1995 Tribal Trust Funds Reconciliation Project Report prepared by Arthur Andersen LLP; and (3) that the Government is liable for $70,330.71 in transactions that should have been credited to the Quapaw Tribe’s trust accounts but were not, as reported in the 2010 Quapaw Analysis.

Quapaw Partially Prevails in Dispute over Undistributed Indian Claims Commission Judgment Funds

Here are the materials in Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

59 US Motion for Partial Summary J

66 Quapaw Cross-Motion

70 US Reply

72 Quapaw Reply

87 DCT Order

An excerpt:

In deciding the cross-motions for partial summary judgment on this issue, the Court considered at least two factors. Foremost, the Court notes that fact discovery was still ongoing in this case when the motions were filed. As of March 31, 2015, the Government anticipated producing over 452,000 document images to Plaintiff before the close of fact discovery on April 16,2015. Gov.’s Status Report, Dkt. No. 81, at 5. The Court declines to draw evidentiary conclusions when material facts are in dispute and ongoing discovery may yet shed more light on the issues. Second, the Court must consider the parties’ respective burdens. To prevail at the summary judgment stage, Plaintiff must sufficiently allege a breach of trust by the Government through affirmative evidence of nonpayment so that the finder of fact could not reasonably rule in favor of the Government. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249–50, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). The Court finds that the Government’s evidence of accounting records and meeting minutes sufficiently rebuts Plaintiff’s argument so as to create a continuing and genuine dispute. On the other hand, the Government has not convinced the Court that records of emptied Treasury accounts and presumptions of regularity are sufficient to decide this issue. Plaintiff’s evidence of meeting minutes and the conclusions of the Quapaw Analysis satisfy the Court, again, that the issue is in genuine dispute. Therefore, the Court denies both motions for partial summary judgment on the question of whether the Tribe is entitled to recover some or all of the trust funds.

We posted earlier on this matter here.

Quapaw Tribe Congressional Reference Case Survives Motion to Dismiss

Here are the materials in Quapaw Tribe v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

1 Congressional Reference

4 Complaint

7-1 US Motion to Dismiss

10 Response

11 Reply

16 DCT Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

Most Claims Dismissed in Quapaw Tribe v. US Trust Breach Action

Here are the materials in Quapaw Tribe v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

DCT Order

US Motion to Dismiss

Quapaw Response

US Reply

An excerpt:

Plaintiff, the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, is a federally recognized Indian nation. The Quapaw Tribe commenced this action on September 11, 2012 by filing a complaint for money damages arising from Defendant’s alleged breach of fiduciary and trust obligations owed to the Quapaw Tribe. The complaint contains three causes of action.

On November 13, 2012, Defendant filed a motion for partial dismissal of the complaint, asserting that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction or that Plaintiff had failed to state claims upon which relief can be granted. In the alternative, Defendant requested that the Court order Plaintiff to file a more definite statement of its claims. Defendant excepted from its motion Plaintiff’s claims for annuity payments under the Treaty of 1833 and leasing claims for the Quapaw Industrial Park. Plaintiff filed an opposition to Defendant’s motion on December 28, 2012, and Defendant filed a reply on January 11, 2013. The Court heard oral argument on June 4, 2013.

Under Rule 8 of the Court of Federal Claims (“RCFC”), a pleading must include “a short and plain statement” of the basis for jurisdiction and the plaintiff’s claims, as well as a demand for the relief sought. For the reasons explained below, Plaintiff’s complaint generally meets the notice pleading requirements of Rule 8, and therefore, Defendant’s motion for a more definite statement is denied. However, the Court grants Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s second and third causes of action, as they are barred by the statute of limitations.