Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

Judge approves distribution of second Cobell settlement check

Indian beneficiaries in Oklahoma demand release of Cobell settlement funds. Photo from Katherine Ware-Perosi / Change.Org

Hundreds of thousands of Indian beneficiaries will finally see a second payment from the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement thanks to a federal judge's order on Thursday.

Judge Thomas F. Hogan approved a motion that was filed by the Cobell plaintiffs and that was supported by the Obama administration. It allows the Garden City Group, the administrator of the settlement, to distribute the Trust Administration Class payment as soon as possible.

"The needs in Indian Country are great and the distribution of these funds now will be a significant benefit to class members," the May 23 motion stated. "These distributions were already delayed by the appeals of four class members from this court’s order approving the settlement agreement."

The payment was mainly being held up by appeals from people who believe they are members of the Trust Administration Class. Hogan's order allows that process to continue while ensuring beneficiaries who ave already confirmed members of the class to receive their share.

The plaintiffs will now submit another proposed order to Hogan to detail how much money will be distributed to beneficiaries. A reserve fund will be set aside to account for people whose appeals are successful.

Hogan is holding a hearing this morning at 10am in Courtroom 25A of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to discuss the status of the settlement.

Relevant Documents:
Judge Hogan's Order (May 29, 2014) | Plaintiffs' Motion (May 23, 2014)

Related Stories:
Tex Hall: Distribute minimum payments from Cobell settlement (05/19)
Long-delayed Cobell payments range from $850 to nearly $10M (05/19)
Native Sun News: Cobell checks could be delayed to December (05/14)
Cobell attorneys provide update on settlement amid complaints (05/13)
Indian beneficiaries demand release of Cobell settlement fund (5/12)
Jay Daniels: Cobell settlement was flawed from beginning (04/18)
Cobell settlement administrator responds to payment delay (04/16)
Letter from Cobell attorneys on second settlement payment (04/16)
Lawmakers question delay in payments from Cobell settlement (04/03)

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