Introduction

  • Nonmember Indians’ claims to tribal timber in the Short and related cases produced, over a period of 30 years, an urgent need for the Hoopa-Yurok Settlement Act.

  • Now, Congress must act pursuant to Section 14(c) of the 1988 Act.

1950 Hoopa Valley Tribe Constitution Approved

  • 1933 Hoopa Constitution replaced

  • A,B membership rolls [lists] approved; C roll in 1953

  • Opinion: Rights of the Indians of the HVR (Feb. 5, 1958)

  • Timber sales on Hoopa “Square” feasible after World War II

Short I (Court of Claims 1973)
  • All “Indians of the Reservation” must share in revenues distributed

  • No vested rights existed in 1864-91

  • Extension of Square in 1891 gave additional Indians equal rights with those of the Square

  • Opinion: 202 Ct. Cl. 870, portion at 486 F.2d 561

BIA Implementation of Short I
  • 70/30 split of revenues began in 1974 when certiorari denied

  • 70% account “Indians of the Reservation” clarified in 1975

  • “Gerard Plan” for Hoopa and Yurok tribes announced in 1978; later changed to “issue by issue” process

  • “Reservation-wide” account replaces 70/30% accounts

Beaver v. Interior Blocks Yurok Implementation
  • Injunction: halts Yurok election

  • Referendum rejects Gerard Plan

  • Judgment: restricts BIA efforts to aid Yurok tribal government

Short II (Court of Claims 1981)
  • Yurok tribe won’t be substituted in lieu of the individual plaintiffs

  • Qualification standards for Indians of Res. based on HVT membership

  • Opinion: 661 F. 2d 150

  • Cert. denied 455 U.S. 1034 (1982)

Short III (Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit 1983)
  • Motion to dismiss case denied

  • Jurisdiction exists under 25 U.S.C. 407 (timber)

  • A-E standards and “manifest injustice” exception approved

  • No declaratory judgment intended

  • Opinion: 719 F.2d 1133

  • Cert. denied 467 U.S. 1256

Short IV (Claims Court 1987)

  • Damages payable based on per capita distributions only

  • No damages from Hoopa tribal government expenditures

  • Plaintiffs have no right to “escrow” funds

  • Opinion: 12 Cl. Ct. 36

Puzz v. Interior Department (N.D. Cal. 1988)
  • BIA must run reservation and consult with all Indians of the Reservation

  • Community Advisory Committee process established

  • Hoopa Tribal Council advisory only

  • Opinion: 1988 WL 188462

Congressional Pleadings on Hoopa-Yurok Settlement
  • House Interior & Insular Affairs Comm. Hearing on H.R. 4469 (June 21, 1988)

  • Senate Indian Affairs Comm. Oversight Hearing (June 30, 1988)

  • Congressional Research Service report to House Interior & Insular Affairs Comm., on questions re H.R. 4469 (Sept. 13, 1988)

  • Senate Indian Affairs Comm. Hearing on S. 2723 (Sept. 14, 1988)

  • House Report 100-938 Part 1 (Sept. 16, 1988)

  • House Judiciary Comm. Hearing on H.R. 4469 (Sept. 30, 1988)

  • Senate Report 100-564 gives full explanation

Pub. L. 100-580, Hoopa-Yurok Settlement Act (Oct. 31, 1988)
  • Reservation divided when Hoopa claims waived

  • Settlement Roll prepared based on Short standards

  • Funds divided based on rolls (and waivers)

  • Suits must be in Court of Federal Claims

  • Act partly codified at 25 U.S.C. 1300i et seq.

Section 14(c) Report, 25 U.S.C. 1300i-11(c)
  • Secretary recommends to Congress after suits

  • Additional appropriations needed to implement terms of Act

  • "Any modifications to the resource and management authorities established”

  • No judgment payable until after Sec. 14(c) report

Karuk v. United States (Complaint Filed 1990)
  • Claimed rights in Square and Extension taken by HYSA

  • Similar complaint filed by Ammon group (like Short plaintiffs) (1991)

  • Similar complaint by Yurok Tribe (1992)

  • All Yurok members also in Ammon (plaintiff groups overlap)

Short V (Court of Federal Claims 1992)

  • Plaintiffs get interest on their damages because trust funds earn interest

  • Opinion: 25 Cl.Ct. 772

Shermoen v. U.S. (9th Circuit 1992)
  • District court dismissed claims of Yurok plaintiffs and Resighini tribe

  • HYSA unreviewable in case without Hoopa and Yurok tribes as parties

  • Sovereign immunity not defeated by suing councilmen

  • Opinion: 982 F.2d 1312

  • Cert. denied 509 U.S. 903 (1993)

Heller, Ehrman v. Babbitt (D.C. Circuit 1993)
  • Short plaintiffs’ attorneys seek share of Settlement Fund

  • Dist. court enjoined part of HYSF payments

  • Attorneys can’t get monies except in Court of Federal Claims, so Ct.App. dismissed

  • Opinion: 992 F.2d 360

  • Subsequent CFC case Duke, Gerstel v. U.S. settled

Short VI (Court of Federal Claims 1993)
  • No damages for Hoopa $5,000 per capita authorized by HYSA

  • Plaintiffs not entitled to escrow funds

  • Heller firm not disqualified

  • Opinion: 28 Fed. Cl. 590

Karuk Tribe v. United States (Court of Federal Claims 1993)
  • Plaintiffs’ claims threaten Hoopa exclusive rights in HVR

  • HVT can intervene to protect its interest under HYSA

  • Opinion: 28 Fed. Cl. 694

Short VII (Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit 1995)
  • Short IV, V and VI are upheld

  • 2,612 plaintiffs (or their heirs) paid

  • $23,561 maximum payment

  • Opinion: 50 F.3d 994

Karuk Tribe v. United States (Court of Federal Claims 1998)
  • Plaintiff tribes and individuals had no vested property rights taken by HYSA

  • Opinion: 41 Fed. Cl. 468

Karuk Tribe v. United States (Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit 2000)
  • CFC Karuk Tribe rulings upheld

  • Opinion: 209 F.3d 1366

  • Cert. petitions denied 523 U.S. 941 (2002)

Conclusion
  • All court challenges to the Settlement Act have failed. 

  • Now, Congress must act on the Secretary’s “Section 14(c)” Report

Mattz v. Arnett (Supreme Court 1973)

  • Klamath River Reservation still exists

  • 1855 reservation was ideal for Yuroks

  • KRR was added to the “Square” reservation in 1891

  • Opinion: 412 U.S. 481

Short v. United States (filed March 27, 1963)

  • Williams family hired Harold Faulkner, Esq.

  • 1967--court directed 3,323 plaintiffs to intervene

  • 1975 or later--528 more plaintiffs (Ackley, Aanstad cases, etc.)

HOOPA-YUROK CASE IN CONTEXT

Exploring the timeline of events from 1950-2001

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