indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Cobell asks court to speed up appeal of $455.6M ruling
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Filed Under: Cobell

The plaintiffs in the Cobell trust fund lawsuit asked a federal appeals court on Tuesday to speed up review of the long-running case.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals already agreed to hear a challenge to a judge's decision to award $455.6 million to Indian beneficiaries whose trust assets are being mismanaged by the federal government. But oral arguments have not been scheduled and the plaintiffs want a quick resolution to prevent further harm.

"This case implicates matters of life and health because many beneficiaries depend entirely on their trust fund disbursements to purchase food for themselves and their families," the motion to expedite stated.

Nearly eight years ago, the D.C. Circuit held that the Interior and Treasury departments were in breach of trust to Indian beneficiaries. The court said hundreds and thousands of landowners are entitled to an accounting of their funds.

After some failed starts, the Bush administration approved a plan to spend an estimated $271 million to fulfill its fiduciary duties but Judge James Robertson in January ruled that a true accounting was "impossible" due to limits imposed on the project and budget restraints. He held an evidentiary hearing in June to determine how much money, if any, is owed to the plaintiffs.

In August, Robertson arrived at $455.6 million -- a figure far lower than the billions of dollars the plaintiffs proposed in court filings. The appeal to the D.C. Circuit will determine whether the amount was correct. The plaintiffs also want to resolve other legal issues that could affect the final dollar amount.

The D.C. Circuit also will be asked to overturn the judgment altogether. The Department of Justice filed its own appeal, claiming that Robertson lacked jurisdiction to award any type of money to account holders. The government contends dollar issues belong in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Since the lawsuit was filed in June 1996, the D.C. Circuit has heard appeals of the case at least five times. Nearly every ruling was resolved in favor of the government, although the landmark accounting decision stands.

Though the Clinton administration was not receptive to the case, hostilities between the plaintiffs and the government grew during the Bush administration. Officials even went after Judge Royce Lamberth, the original judge on the case, resulting in his removal from the proceedings.

The latest appeal comes amid major change in Washington, D.C. With Barack Obama coming on board in January, a new leadership team at the Interior Department could change course in its handling of the case and of the trust relationship in general.

Keith Harper, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma who has been on the case since 1996, was Obama's top Indian adviser during the presidential campaign. He is now part of Obama's transition team at Interior.

Court Filing:
Motion for Expedited Appeal and Argument (December 9, 2008)

Related Stories:
Appeal granted for Cobell historical accounting (11/21)
Voice for the Voiceless: Cobell lawsuit a warning (11/13)
Opinion: Scoundrels and scandals at Interior (10/09)
Jodi Rave: Corruption 'nothing new' at Interior (09/22)
Government appeals decision in Cobell case (9/19)
Cobell: Judge gives Interior a pass on trust duties (9/16)
Appeal stretches Cobell lawsuit into another year (9/16)
Appeal stretches Cobell lawsuit into another year (9/16)
Cobell seeks to resolve trust issues on appeal (09/09)
Cobell: Lawsuit more than a question of dollars (9/8)
Jodi Rave: Cobell set for appeal of $455.6M decision (9/8)
Judge certifies appeal of Cobell accounting decision (9/5)
Cobell headed to appeals court to resolve $455.6M (8/29)
Judge to hold first hearing after Cobell decision (8/28)
Howard Dean slams McCain for treatment of Cobell (8/26)
Native finance group supports appeal in Cobell case (8/20)
Off the Reservation: Cobell ruling a slap in the face (8/15)
Jodi Rave: Interior can't find owners of $73M (8/13)
Cobell to appeal $455.6M ruling 'as soon as possible' (8/13)
Jodi Rave: Cobell to appeal $455.6M decision (8/11)
Cobell final ruling of $455.6M disappoints (8/8)
Judge issues final ruling in Cobell trust case (8/7)
Judge to issue final ruling in Cobell case in August (06/26)
Judge to hear final arguments in landmark Cobell trial (06/25)



Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
First Lady Michelle Obama shares story of hope with Indian school (5/26)
Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama at Santa Fe Indian School (5/26)
Gary Davis of NCAIED joins Small Business Administration council (5/26)
Arne Vainio: A mother's gift carried me through many life journeys (5/26)
Native Sun News: Tribes score big in fights against energy projects (5/26)
Lakota Country Times: Education Secretary hears from Pine Ridge (5/26)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ending Whiteclay beer sales starts at home (5/26)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux youth lead efforts to bring relatives home (5/26)
Gyasi Ross: Drug epidemic sweeping through Native communities (5/26)
Jacqueline Keeler: Shameful and skewed poll on racist NFL name (5/26)
Interview with Melvin Monette about Cobell scholarship program (5/26)
Auction house in France won't stop sale of sacred tribal property (5/26)
United Keetoowah Band installs new leader after impeachment (5/26)
Kewa Pueblo builds new community around historic trading post (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee elder translates 'Charlotte's Web' into Tsalagi (5/26)
Puyallup Tribe works to keep language alive for new generations (5/26)
Iowa Tribe offers free play on poker website ahead of full launch (5/26)
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe offers gaming options closer to home (5/26)
Kaw Nation receives national award for tribal gaming initiatives (5/26)
Indian Health Service reform efforts gaining steam on Capitol Hill (5/25)
Indian Health Service announces more hires at troubled hospital (5/25)
Keepseagle attorneys open application process for $38M in grants (5/25)
Three tribes enter cooperative agreements for buy-back program (5/25)
New leader selected for HUD's Office of Native American Programs (5/25)
Indian relay racers gear up for event hosted by Muckleshoot Tribe (5/25)
Cronkite News: Tribes seek return of property up for sale in France (5/25)
Native Sun News: Anti-suicide effort incorporates tribal traditions (5/25)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth showcase film projects (5/25)
Mark Trahant: Native vote victory for Tawna Sanchez in Oregon (5/25)
Brandon Ecoffey: Lakota people come together in times of need (5/25)
Editorial: Tribes must come up with plan for return of Black Hills (5/25)
John McCoy: Disenrollment and blood quantum are not our way (5/25)
Adrian Jawort: Addressing race relations and healing in Montana (5/25)
Fort Peck Tribes oppose new directive on transgender students (5/25)
Leader of United Keetoowah Band ousted through impeachment (5/25)
Agua Caliente Band launches software development company (5/25)
Sen. Barrasso to chair platform committee for GOP convention (5/25)
Cowlitz Tribe welcomes discussions with opponent over casino (5/25)
Little Traverse Bay Bands open doors to Class II gaming facility (5/25)
Tuolumne Band celebrates 15th birthday with casino expansion (5/25)
Former Winnebago Tribe casino employee denies theft charge (5/25)
Proposed rule brings LGBT equality to tribal housing programs (5/24)
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (5/24)
Appropriations bill blocks new federal recognition regulation (5/24)
Native American Children's Safety Act clears final Hill hurdle (5/24)
9th Circuit won't rehear Tohono O'odham Nation gaming case (5/24)
Lakota Country Times: Army promises return of tribal children (5/24)
Native Sun News: New business sprouts up at Wounded Knee (5/24)
Mark Trahant: Tulalip citizen lands role in Democratic platform (5/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Pine Ridge unites for search of missing men (5/24)
Men who went missing found dead on Pine Ridge Reservation (5/24)
Billy Mills: Flawed poll can't justify use of team's racist mascot (5/24)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.