Upcoming Events in Cobell v. Salazar
- The Department of Interior has informed us that it expects to provide the data for the Trust Administration Class (TAC) distributions to GCG in time for payments to begin in early Fall. It is taking Interior longer to correct some of the land records than Interior had anticipated and they have advised Class Counsel that the calculations should be ready by August 30, 2014.
Assuming Interior meets the August 30 date, Class Counsel will immediately seek the final approval needed from the Court and GCG will make preparations to begin sending out the TAC checks. The Court has always been extremely prompt in considering such requests and GCG will need only 2 – 3 weeks to begin sending out checks.
As a result, if Interior meets its predicted date, TAC payments should be able to begin early Fall. Since neither Class Counsel nor GCG control when Interior will be able to provide the corrected data, we cannot guarantee that TAC payments will be issued in this this timeframe, but will do everything within our power to try to make that happen.
We have asked the Special Master to help and he has held several status conferences to closely monitor Interior’s progress. We know these TAC payments are important to you and will continue to focus our efforts on getting them to you as soon as we can. As reliable updated information becomes available, we will let you know.
On July 14, 2014, Class Counsel filed an updated Status Report with the Court regarding the timing of Trust Administration Class payments. Also, The United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing on July 16, 2014 and Jennifer Keough of GCG testified. A copy of her written testimony and Class Counsel’s status report are under the “Court Documents” tab on this page.
David Smith and Bill Dorris
- On July 16, 2014, The United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing and Jennifer
Keough of GCG testified. A copy of her written testimony it included on this website.
- On July 14, 2014, Class Counsel filed an updated Status Report with the Court regarding the
timing of Trust Administration Class payments. It discussed that the Department of Interior has informed us that
it expects to provide the data for the Trust Administration Class (TAC) distributions to GCG around August 30, 2014
and in time for payments to begin in early Fall.
- On May 30, 2014, at 10:00 am in Courtroom 25A at the United States District Court for the District
of Columbia, Judge Hogan will hold a conference to review the status of the Settlement Agreement’s implementation, the
distributions and pending appeals.
- During the week of May 26, 2014, Class Counsel will file a report summarizing the status of the
Settlement Agreement’s implementation. This will be posted on the website after it is filed.
- During the week of May 18, 2014, Class Counsel will be filing a motion with the Court
setting forth a plan for the
distribution of the Trust Administration Class payments. Once this is filed it will be posted on the website.
- The Special Master has scheduled oral argument at 10:30 am on Tuesday May 13, 2014, in
the appeal by one claimant from the Claims Administrator’s determination that it was not eligible to participate
in the Cobell settlement.
- During the week of May 12, 2014, Class Counsel will be filing a motion with the Special
Master to permit the Claims Administrator to place funds due to the heirs of all Class Members who are deceased
in to an Estate IIM account where an estate is open and pending for that Class Member. At the time the Settlement
Agreement received final approval at the end of 2012, there were over 60,000 Class Members who were eligible to
participate in the Settlement who had passed away. A great deal of effort has been spent seeking to identify
the heirs of those Class Members and to obtain probate documentation allowing the disbursement of those funds.
However, there remain a large number of estate funds to be disbursed. Where an heir of a deceased Class Member
has not identified himself or herself, or no probate documentation has been provided, deposit of those funds in
to a pending Estate IIM account is the most cost-effective way to distribute them. If you believe you
are an heir to a deceased class member, please contact the Claims Administrator at 1-800-961-6109 or by email
- On May 1, 2014, the Special Master mailed out the first 200 decisions on the appeals of
individuals from a determination by the Claims Administrator that they were not eligible to participate in
the Cobell settlement. More decisions will be forthcoming shortly.