NOTICE OF PLAINTIFFS’ SECOND MOTION FOR PAYMENT OF CLASS COUNSEL’S POST-SETTLEMENT ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND EXPENSES
The parties’ agreements in this case provide that, subject to the Court’s approval, up to $12 million of the settlement funds may be used to pay for Class Counsel’s post-settlement fees and expenses. On August 5, 2015, plaintiffs filed a second motion seeking the Court’s approval to pay Class Counsel $750,000.00 in post-settlement fees and expenses. In September 2013, Plaintiffs had previously requested the Court’s approval to pay Class Counsel $11.25 million for post-settlement work, which motion is pending before the Court.
The second motion states that Class Counsel has incurred more than $15 million in fees and expenses during the sixty six months of the post-settlement period from December 2009 through May 2015. According to the motion, the amount requested in the motion reflects the $12 million cap on post-settlement attorneys’ fees and expenses, and that Class Counsel is committed to completing the representation of the plaintiffs without further payment.
The motion can be read by clicking here.
Class Members may object to the requested payment to Class Counsel. All such objections must be in writing and filed with the Court no later than Monday, September 21, 2015. All written objections should refer to “Cobell v. Jewell, Case No. 96-1285.” The Court’s address for filing is:
United States District Court
for the District of Columbia
333 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Important Update on the Cobell Scholarship Fund
(As of April 20, 2015):
The American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) announced today that it is now accepting Cobell Scholarship applications through June 1, 2015, for the Fall 2015 term. For more information please click here.
The Department of the Interior announced that it has transferred more than $12 million to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund, bringing the total amount transferred so far to $17 million. For more information, please click here.
Important Update on Claimant Appeals
(As of March 10, 2015):
Please note, the deadline to submit documents and request reconsideration to the Special Master from a determination of ineligibility as a Class Member has now passed. All documentation to establish eligibility and request reconsideration needed to be postmarked by March 9, 2015, both for a personal claim and for an estate that has not previously been determined eligible.
While the Special Master will no longer accept or review any appeals related to determinations of ineligibility by the Garden City Group, LLC (“GCG”), matters related to the sufficiency of estate documentation and determination of heirs, in addition to appeals resulting from determinations not made by GCG, will continue to be reviewed by the Special Master on an ongoing basis.
The Special Master has reviewed and determined most appeals for consideration in the Indian Trust Settlement. To this end, he has filed a report with the US District Court for the District of Columbia (the “Court”) which has responded with an Order outlining the required process if there are Objections to the Special Master’s Decisions. In addition, the Court also provided the following Orders Scheduling the Filing Deadlines for Objections to the Special Master’s Decisions (Scheduling Order 1, Scheduling Order 2 and Scheduling Order 3).
Determinations from the Special Master regarding specific claims are currently being mailed to Claimants. Please note that this process will be ongoing until all determinations are complete. If you have not yet received a Determination you should anticipate receiving it in the next three weeks. If you wish to object to a specific determination made by the Special Master please be certain to fully comply with all requirements identified in these Orders. A copy of these requirements will also be included with each Determination from the Special Master.
Information Regarding Trust Class Payments
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered an Order approving Plaintiffs’ Unopposed Motion to begin distribution. This Motion obtained the final approval necessary to commence payment distribution to Trust Administration Class Members and summarizes the methodology for those payments.
On Monday, September 15, 2014, GCG commenced sending checks to Trust Administration Class Members where we have a current address. (Please note that checks may take 5-7 days to reach Class Members once they have been mailed.)
Upcoming Events in Cobell v. Salazar
A Letter from Class Counsel
Interior Announces First Transfer from Land Buy-Back Program to Cobell Education Fund
Initial transfer of nearly $580,000 will fund scholarship opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students
For information about the Cobell Scholarship Program, how to apply for a scholarship, or to provide comment about disbursement polices for the Cobell Board of Trustees, go to www.collegefund.org/Cobell.
Fraud Alert: Individuals Asking for Bank Account Information
If you receive a call requesting such information or you are concerned about a call you receive, please write down the phone number and contact the Garden City Group at 1-800-961-6109 or David Smith and Bill Dorris, Class Counsel, at 1-866-383-6554.
Heirs to Estates: Documents Needed
- A state or tribal probate order identifying the heirs to the estate;
- Documentation showing the appointment of an Executor, Administrator, or Personal Representative of the Estate;
- A last will and testament that has been approved through a probate order;
- A valid small estate document from an approved state;
- A federal probate order that directs distribution of trust funds or trust lands.
Update Your Contact Information
|Scholarship Fund Information||Affidavit of Small Estate||Land Buy Back Program|
|The settlement authorizes over $60 million dollars in scholarships for Indian students. Get the Facts and learn how you may benefit.||To allow for expedited payments to estate heirs the Special Master has approved small estate affidavits. The rules differ from state to state. Find out more here.||Part of the Settlement will be used for purchase of fractionated land interests. For more information on the Department of the Interior's Land Buy Back, click here.|