Jodi Rave: Appeals court to hear Cobell case

"A U.S. Court of Appeals panel of judges has agreed to grant an appeal made by both Native landowners and the Interior Department as part of a 12-year-long lawsuit supposedly brought to an end by a federal court ruling this summer.

It was announced on Friday that three circuit judges agreed to grant hearings in the Cobell vs. Kempthorne lawsuit.

Elouise Cobell, lead plaintiff from Browning, said she hoped the Court of Appeals would expedite the date for both sides to make oral arguments because “too many people have been dying,” referring to elders represented in the class-action suit who will never receive their share of a monetary award settlement. An Interior Department spokesman was not available for comment.

Lawyers for landowners and the government filed appeals in August after both disagreed with a final ruling made by U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson, in which he ordered a $455.6 million restitution to Native landowners. The Interior Department's trust fund management system has been the subject of harsh reviews by Congress and in thousands of pages of court filings."

Get the Story:
Judges to hear Native, federal appeals in Interior trust suit (The Missoulian 11/22)

Court Order:
Cobell v. Kempthorne (November 18, 2008)

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