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Trust
Swimmer: Communication with account holders on hold


Special Trustee Ross Swimmer urged the Interior Department not to contact any trust beneficiaries and suggested that royalty checks could not be sent to account holders in a September 30 memo.

Observing that the department has been "blessed" with a court order from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, Swimmer said it was "critical" to put all communications with beneficiaries on hold. He said the order could stop all checks or public meetings without court approval.

The stance drew criticism from Lamberth at a hearing Friday afternoon. He accused the Bush administration of retaliating against beneficiaries, something the department denied.

Lamberth then issued a clarification of his court order "categorically" rejecting the government's view. He said the department needs to keep beneficiaries informed regarding the sale of their land.

Get the Story:
U.S. Is Ordered to Tell Indians Before Selling Trust Property (The New York Times 10/4)
pwnyt
Plan to Stop Payments To Indians Denounced (AP 10/3)

Relevant Documents:
Clarified Court Order | Motion w/Ross Swimmer Memo | Court Order | Temporary Restraining Order | List of Auction Properties | Motion for TRO

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com

Related Stories:
Lamberth orders DOI to inform beneficiaries of rights (9/30)
Judge halts sale of Indian allotments in Oklahoma (09/02)
Probate reform bill heads to Senate for vote (01/29)
NCAI president uses speech to lobby for funding (01/22)
Tribes back improvements in probate reform bill (10/16)
Panel debating reform bill a third time (10/15)
Tribes focus energies on 'core' trust reform issues (05/30)
On fractionation, little progress in decades (05/09)
Indian land bill draws complaints from all sides (05/08)
Congress tackles trust land reform bill (5/6)
Bush land program called inadequate (5/6)