Update in Cherokee Trust Accounting Suit against Interior

Here are new materials in Cherokee Nation v. Dept. of the Interior (D.D.C.):

Prior post here.

Federal Court Dismisses Chemehuevi Claims against Feds over Parker Dam

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

51 Redacted Amended Complaint

56-1 Dismiss

61 Response

64 Reply

90 Federal Supplemental Brief

91 Tribe Supplemental Brief

92 DCT Order

Tenth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Sand Creek Massacre Trust Claims

Here is the opinion in Flute v. United States.

An excerpt:

This case arises out of an ignominious event in the history of this Nation. In 1864, the United States Army conducted an unprovoked attack on a group of unarmed Indians, who had relocated to an area next to the Sand Creek River in the Territory of Colorado at the direction and under the protection of the Territorial Governor. When what has become known as the Sand Creek Massacre was over, most of the Indians were dead, including many women and children. After an investigation, the United States publicly acknowledged its role in the tragedy and agreed to pay reparations to certain survivors of the massacre. But those reparations were never paid.

Plaintiffs are descendants of the victims of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre and bring this action for an accounting of the amounts they allege the U.S. government holds in trust for payment of reparations to their ancestors. Because the United States has not waived its sovereign immunity, we affirm the district court’s dismissal of such for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Briefs here.

Federal Court Certifies Class in Osage Headrights Accounting Suit

Here are the new materials in Fletcher v. United States (N.D. Okla.):

1148 Motion to Certify Class

1154 US Response

1196 DCT Order Certifying Class

This case is on remand from the Tenth Circuit; post here.

Tenth Circuit Rules in Favoring of Trust Accounting Claims of Osage Headright Holders

Here are the materials in Fletcher v. United States:

CA10 Opinion

Fletcher Opening Brief

Interior Answer Brief

Fletcher Reply Brief

An excerpt:

After settlers displaced the Osage Nation from its native lands, the federal government shunted the tribe onto the open prairie in Indian Territory, part of what later became the State of Oklahoma. At the time, the government had no idea those grasslands were to prove a great deal more fertile than they appeared. Only years later did the Osages’ mammoth reserves of oil and gas make themselves known. When that happened, the federal government appropriated for itself the role of trustee, overseeing the collection of royalty income and its distribution to tribal members. That role continues to this day. In  this lawsuit, tribal members seek an accounting to determine whether the federal  government has fulfilled the fiduciary obligations it chose to assume. The district court
dismissed the tribal members’ claims. We reverse.

Lower court materials here and here.

Federal Court Dismisses Trust Breach Claim by Osage Headright Beneficiaries

Here are the materials in Fletcher v. United States (N.D. Okla.):

DCT Order Dismissing Third Amended Complaint

USA Motion to Dismiss

Fletcher Opposition

USA Reply

Our prior post on this case (from 2009) is here.