Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Cobell
Elouise Cobell responds to questions about settlement


Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff in the Indian trust fund lawsuit, will be answering questions about the proposed settlement to the case. Cobell is a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana.

This is the fifth letter in a series of open letters I’m sending to Indian Country to answer questions that you have asked me about settlement of the Cobell class action lawsuit.

This is the fourth letter in a series of open letters I?m sending to Indian Country to answer questions that you have asked me about settlement of the Cobell class action lawsuit. Prior Ask Elouise letters can be found on the settlement website: http://cobellsettlement.com/class/ask_elouise.php.

We also have a “frequently asked questions” section to answer many of the most common questions we’ve received. http://cobellsettlement.com/press/faq.php. I can’t answer every question, but I will try to answer as many as I can every week.

When are your next meetings in Indian Country?
Our litigation team will be traveling through parts of Arizona and New Mexico this week. If you are able to attend, our team would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Wednesday, March 17
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
San Carlos Reservation, Arizona
Apache Gold Casino Resort – The Geronimo Room
5 miles East of Globe on Highway 70

4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona
Hon-Dah Resort & Conference Center – The Mt. Baldy Room
770 Highway 260 Pinetop, AZ

Thursday, March 18
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Navajo, New Mexico
Churchrock Allottee Association, Churchrock Chapter House
The Churchrock Chapter House is at the junction of State Route 566 and the old U.S. Route 66, no more than ten miles east of Gallup, New Mexico

Friday, March 19
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Navajo, New Mexico
McGee Park Convention Center

The Convention Center is between Farmington & Bloomfield

Future trips are planned for the week beginning March 22 in the Pacific Northwest. Check the settlement website for the most recent meeting schedule. http://cobellsettlement.com/class/local_outreach.php

I’ve heard that two classes are resolved by the settlement agreement, what does that mean?
A class action lawsuit is a group of people with similar claims that collectively bring an action in court. In this case, two classes of people will have their claims resolved by the settlement agreement. The first is an historical accounting class that includes individuals living on September 30, 2009 who had an IIM account open at any time between October 25, 1994 and September 30, 2009 and had money credited to it. Each individual in the historical accounting class will receive $1,000 instead of, and in the alternative to, the required historical accounting, which the U.S. Court of Appeals described in June 2009 as only an accounting of low hanging fruit.

The second class in the settlement is the trust administration class. This class includes individual Indians who own trust land as of September 30, 2009 or who have or had an IIM account at any point in time between 1985 and September 30, 2009. This second class will receive an additional payment of at least $500.

How much will I receive as a member of the trust administration class?
It depends on how much income you’ve collected into your IIM account. As noted above, each member of the class will receive a baseline payment of $500. Individuals with an IIM account open between 1985 and September 30, 2009 may receive more than $500. This trust administration class payment is separate from, and in addition to, the $1,000 payment to individuals in the historical accounting class and that you can be a member of both classes if you meet the criteria (see above).

The calculation uses an average of the 10 highest years of revenue (deposits) in your IIM account – this is called your Assigned Value. That would determine your share of the trust administration fund, which is tentatively estimated to be between $850 million and $900 million. The following calculations are estimates based on information provided by the government – your final trust administration payment can be more or less.

•If your Assigned Value is between .01¢ and $5,000, you will receive between $500 and $1,000.
•If your Assigned Value is between $5,000 and $15,000, you will receive between $1,000 and $2,500.
•If your Assigned Value is between $15,000 and $30,000, you will receive between $2,500 and $5,000.
•If your Assigned Value is between $30,000 and $75,000, you will receive between $5,000 and $10,000.
•If your Assigned Value is between $75,000 and $750,000, you will receive between $10,000 and $100,000.
Individuals with an Assigned Value greater than $750,000 will receive more than $100,000.

If you are not currently receiving an IIM statement from the government, please remember to register for correspondence over the Internet or by calling the number below.

Internet: https://cert.tgcginc.com/iim/register.php
Telephone: 1-800-961-6109

If you have a question, send an e-mail to: askelouise@cobellsettlement.com.

Otherwise you can send me a letter to the address below. To expedite the processing of your letters our contractor has set up a post office box in Ohio, but I assure you this letter is coming from me and I will see your letters.

Ask Elouise
Cobell Settlement
PO Box 9577
Dublin, OH 43017-4877

Thank you and keep your questions coming!

Also Today:
Congress hears Cobell critiques; collusion charged (Indian Country Today 3/16)

Relevant Documents:
Agreement | Press Release | Q&A | Audio

Related Stories:
Cobell team in Arizona, New Mexico to brief settlement (3/15)
Editorial: It's time to settle the Cobell trust fund lawsuit (3/15)
Editorial: It's time to settle the Cobell trust fund lawsuit (3/15)
South Dakota tribes weigh stance on Cobell settlement (3/11)
Audio: House Resources hearing on Cobell settlement (3/10)
Congress slow to move on Cobell trust fund settlement (3/10)
Witness list for House hearing on trust fund settlement (3/9)
Elouise Cobell responds to questions about settlement (3/9)
Elouise Cobell to meet with landowners in South Dakota (3/5)
Elouise Cobell responds to questions about settlement (3/2)
House Resources Committee schedules Cobell hearing (3/2)
Deadline in Cobell trust fund case extended to April 16 (3/1)
Elouise Cobell answers questions about settlement (2/22)
Elouise Cobell answers questions about settlement (2/17)
Opinion: Questions remain about Cobell settlement (2/9)
Opinion: Cobell case settled for pennies on the dollar (2/8)
Opinion: Cobell trust settlement addresses land issues (02/01)
Deadline approaches to approve trust fund settlement (02/01)
Dennis Gingold: The facts behind trust fund settlement (1/29)
Bill Martin: No rubber stamp for trust fund settlement (1/26)
Editorial: Congress must act fast on Cobell settlement (1/22)
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Opinion: Indian trust beneficiaries finally getting paid? (1/20)
Interview with Elliott Levitas, attorney for Cobell case (1/18)
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Congress gets more time to act on Cobell settlement (1/6)
Editorial: A long overdue settlement to Cobell lawsuit (1/6)
Editorial: A long overdue settlement to Cobell lawsuit (1/6)
Letters: A good settlement to Indian trust fund case (12/21)
Cobell urges Senate to move quickly on settlement (12/18)
Column: Free Indians of federal government control (12/18)
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Editorial: Cobell deal corrects century-old old wrong (12/18)
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Opinion: Indian plaintiff won't see trust settlement (12/14)
Column: Navajo woman helped resolve Cobell case (12/14)
Editorial: Preventing future trust mismanagement (12/14)
Editorial: Approve settlement to Cobell trust case (12/14)
Senate committee sets Cobell settlement hearing (12/11)
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Editorial: Land consolidation program 'worrisome' (12/11)
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Editorial: Settling more than a century of injustice (12/11)
Editorial: Support settlement for Cobell trust case (12/11)
Editorial: Acknowledge past mistakes in trust fund (12/11)
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NARF welcomes settlement in Cobell trust lawsuit (12/10)
Cobell hailed as warrior as she returns to Montana (12/10)
Billings Paper: Cobell deal sends $27M to Montana (12/10)
Editorial: Cobell settlement fair for Indian Country (12/10)
Editorial: Welcome settlement to Cobell trust case (12/10)
Mostly praise for $3.4B settlement to Cobell lawsuit (12/9)
Editorial: Act quickly on Indian trust fund settlement (12/9)
Twitter Recap of Cobell settlement with Photos (12/8)
Statement by President Obama on Cobell settlement (12/8)
Statement by Sen. Dorgan on Cobell settlement (12/8)
Statement by Sen. McCain on Cobell settlement (12/8)
Statement by Sen. Tester on Cobell settlement (12/8)
Statement by Rep. Rahall on Cobell settlement (12/8)
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