May 25th, 2015 Last Updated on: May 27th, 2015
In 1999 Marilyn and George Keepseagle from Fort Yates along with others, North Dakota files a suit against the Agriculture Department. The Obama administration settle the case for $680 million. The suit covers Native Americans with discrimination claims against USDA for the years 1981 to 1999.
The U.S. District Court recently ordered that it will accept written comments by mail from any Class member regarding the proposed modifications to the Keepseagle Settlement Agreement and the distribution of the leftover settlement funds. Class members include all of the following: successful claimants under Track A, successful claimants under Track B, and other Native American farmers or ranchers who applied for and were denied a loan from USDA from 1981 to 1999, whose claims in this case were denied for any reason or who did not file a claim.
Comments must be written and mailed to the Court with a postmark date no later than June 15, 2015. Comments should be addressed to:
Chambers of the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
333 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Additionally, there will be a hearing in-person before the Court on June 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM EST in Courtroom 24A at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, located at the above address. At this hearing, after Class Counsel and the counsel for Mrs. Marilyn Keepseagle present their arguments to the court, the Court will permit any Class member in attendance to speak regarding the two pending motions/proposals.
Additional notice regarding the comment period, and the current status of the case, has been sent by U.S. Mail to all claimants, and is available here.
The pending proposal to modify the cy pres provision of the settlement agreement, and Mrs. Keepseagle’s request that, over USDA’s objections, the funds be directed instead to provide additional payments to prevailing claimants are described in greater detail below.
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