Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

Fairness hearing in Cobell settlement scheduled for June 20

The fairness hearing for the $3.4 billion settlement to the Indian trust fund lawsuit will take place in Washington, D.C., on June 20.

According to a court filing by the plaintiffs, at least 90 beneficiaries filed objections to the settlement. Of those, about two dozen want to be appear at the hearing.

The list of objectors includes Charles Colombe, a former chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Kimberly Craven, a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate; Mary Johns, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; and Richard Monette, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Craven and Johns were among the most vocal critics of the settlement. However, they do not appear to have opted out of the portion that addresses mismanagement of the trust.

Monette, a former chairman of his tribe, has opted out of the trust administration class. He wants to speak at the hearing on behalf of himself and others from his tribe.

The plaintiffs, however, are objecting to Monette's ability to represent other beneficiaries because he is not a member of the bar of the federal district court in D.C. The plaintiffs also note that he questioned the integrity of the judge who oversaw the settlement.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is located at 333 Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington, DC.

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