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LEGISLATION RELATING TO THE COURT OF
(PRIVATE LAW 41—77TH CONGRESS)
(H. R. 4063)
AN ACT To confer jurisdiction upon the Court of Claims to hear, determine, and
render judgment upon the claim of Herbert M. Gregory. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the Court of Claims to hear, determine, and render judgment upon, notwithstanding the lapse of time or any provision of law to the contrary, the claim against the United States of Herbert M. Gregory, of El Dorado, Arkansas, for damages alleged to have been sustained by him as a result of the loss of and on certain property owned by him in Los Angeles, California, due to liens filed against such property, in the year 1931, by the collector of internal revenue at Los Angeles, California. Such suit shall be brought within six months from the date of enactment of this Act.
Sec. 2. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated such sum as may be necessary to pay the amount of any judgment rendered pursuant to this Act. The amount of such judgment shall be payable by the Secretary of the Treasury upon the presentation of a duly authenticated copy of the judgment of the Court of Claims.
Approved, May 9, 1941.
THE COURT OF CLAIMS
March 3, 1941, to June 1, 1941
THE CREEK NATION v. THE UNITED STATES
(No. L-206. Decided March 3, 1941)
On the Proofs
Indian claims; payment of attorney's fee by authorized agents of
the nation.—Where payment was made by the duly authorized delegates of the Creek Nation on a contract for attorney's fees, which contract was not submitted to nor approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and where said payment was made pursuant to an agreement between the parties, ratified by both the National Council of the Creek Nation and by the Congress of the United States, and where said payment was made in exact accord with the agreement and the said acts of ratification and in compliance with the requests of the plaintiff made pursuant thereto; it is held that the defendant is not liable to the plaintiff for any failure or neglect "to institute suit for the benefit of said nation to recover said sum
in disregard of its duty as trustee." Same; provisions of section 2103, Revised Statutes.-Section 2103
of the Revised Statutes creates no liability on the part of the Government for failure to bring suit, vests no right in any Indian tribe, and does not even direct the defendant to institute suits for the recovery of money paid out under a contract entered into in violation of its provisions but merely permits the use of the name of the United States in a suit brought by some private party to recover such sums.
The Reporter's statement of the case:
Mr. Wilfred Flearn, with whom was Mr. Assistant Attorney General Norman M. Littell, for the defendant. Mr. Raymond T. Nagle was on the brief.
93 C. Cls. Reporter's Statement of the Case The court made special findings of fact as follows:
1. This case was timely filed pursuant to authority granted by Congress by the act of May 24, 1924 (c. 181, 43 Stat. 139), as modified by Joint Resolution of May 19, 1926 (44 Stat. 568), and by the act of February 19, 1929 (45 Stat. 1229). Under these acts jurisdiction was conferred on this court
to hear, examine, and adjudicate and render judgment in any and all legal and equitable claims arising under or growing out of any treaty or agreement between the United States and the Creek Indian Nation or Tribe, or arising under or growing out of any Act
of Congress in relation to Indian affairs. 2. By the treaty of June 14, 1866 (14 Stat. 785), the Creek Nation ceded to the United States the western half of its domain "to be sold to and used as homes for such other civ. ilized Indians as the United States may choose to settle thereon.” Subsequently, and on March 3, 1885, Congress authorized the President to negotiate agreements with the Creeks and others for the purpose of making said lands available for settlement under the homestead laws of the United States (c. 341, 23 Stat. 362, 384). Pursuant thereto, the Secretary of the Interior entered into an agreement with Pleasant Porter, David M. Hodge, and Esparhecher, delegates representing the Creek Nation, whereby that Nation ceded to the United States "without reservation or condition, full and complete title to the entire western half of the domain” previously ceded for the purposes stated by the treaty of June 14, 1866.
This cession was in consideration of payments to be made to the Creek Nation of $2,280,057.10, of which amount it was provided that $280,857.10 would
be paid to the national treasurer of said Muscogee (or Creek) Nation, or to such person as shall be duly authorized to receive the same, at such times and in such sums after the due ratification of this agreement (as hereinafter provided) as shall be directed and required by the national council of said
nation, 3. This agreement was ratified by the National Council of the Creek Nation on January 31, 1889, by an act which reads in part as follows:
Reporter's Statement of the Case
and the said amount which is to be paid in money, to be paid over in such sums and at such times and places as may be required, directly to the National Treasurer of the Muskogee Nation, or to such officer or other person or persons as shall be named in the requisition of the proper authorities of the Muskogee Nation; and the proper authorities of the Muskogee Nation, for the purpose of making such requisition or requisitions, is hereby declared to be the National Council of the Muskogee Nation, or such officer or other person or persons as shall be designated and authorized by an Act or Resolution of the said National Council for that purpose; and such requisition or requisitions, when made, shall be taken and accepted as, and is, and are, hereby declared to be the requisition
of the proper authorities of the Muskogee Nation. On the same day and the following day the National Council of said Nation passed two acts designating the Principal Chief as the person to make the requisitions. The first reads in part as follows:
I. Be it enacted by the National Council of the Muskogee Nation, that the Principal Chief of the Muskogee Nation, be and he is, hereby authorized and directed, for and on behalf of the Muskogee Nation, to make requisition upon the proper authorities of the United States, in such form as may be required by such authorities, for the payment to Pleasant Porter, David M. Hodge, and Esparhecher, the duly authorized delegates of the Muskogee Nation, or in the event of the death or inability to act, or any or either of them, then to the surviving member or members of them, of the sum of ten percent of the additional price of the lands ceded to the United States by the treaty of 1866, under the agreement of January 19th, A. D. 1889, between Honorable William F. Vilas, Secretary of the Interior, and said delegates, the same to be paid out of the amount that may be appropriated by Congress to be paid in money to the Muskogee Nation on account of the purchase of said lands. The same to be paid in such sums and at such times and places as shall be requested by said delegates, and such requisition when made, shall be taken and accepted as, and is hereby declared to be, the requisition of the
proper authorities of the Muskogee Nation. The second act reads in part as follows:
I. Be it enacted by the National Council of the Muskogee Nation, that the Principal Chief of the Muskogee