CRST Fact Sheet: Salazar case, per capita payments
Submitted by CRST Chairman’s Office
1. What is the Salazar Case?
In Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe v. Salazar, No.: 06-cv-00935-JR and in a related case in the United States Court of Federal Claims, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe v. United States, No. 06-cv-00915-NBF , brought claims for 1.) A declaration from the Court that the U.S. failed to provide a meaningful general trust accounting; and 2.) A mandatory injunction from the Court requiring the U.S. to provide a full and complete general accounting of tribal trust funds. In addition, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (hereinafter “CRST” or “Tribe”) sought money damages, with interest, against the U.S.
The cases were alleged to arise out of the U.S.’ breaches and continuing breaches of the U.S.’ constitutional, statutory, regulatory, treaty, common law and other legal, accounting, fiduciary, administrative and management duties owed to the Tribe to generate, invest and manage the Plaintiff’s tribal trust assets and property in the manner prescribed by applicable law.
2. What claims will the Tribe give up if Tribal members vote to settle the Salazar Case?
In the event that Tribal members vote to settle the Salazar Case, the Tribe gives up the claims it sued the U.S. for in the Salazar Case including: claims concerning the U.S. alleged historic mismanagement of the Tribe’s trust assets and breaches of the U.S.’ continuing constitutional, statutory, regulatory, treaty, common law and other legal, accounting, fiduciary, administrative and management duties owed to the Tribe to generate, invest and manage the Plaintiff’s tribal trust assets and property in the manner prescribed by federal law. This limits the Tribe’s right to claim only in these specific areas. No other claims will be in jeopardy.
3. When did the Salazar lawsuit start?
The Federal District Court lawsuit was filed November 7, 2006, and the Federal Court of Claims lawsuit was filed December 29, 2006.
4. How much money is the Tribe going to receive from the Salazar lawsuit?
The gross amount the Tribe will receive is: $38,500,000.00
The attorneys that litigated the case get twenty percent:
The Tribe will pay expert witnesses fees and costs:
The net amount the Tribe will receive is: $30,458,651.48
5. Does the settlement of this lawsuit jeopardize any treaties as well as historical or future claims?
The Tribe’s entry into the Joint Stipulation of Settlement with the US settles only the claims that the Tribe sued the US for in this litigation and the settlement will not diminish or otherwise affect in any way the Tribe’ claims for treaty rights, water rights, hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering rights, environmental rights, claims against third parties, claims regarding the Treaty of 1868, the Act of February 28, 1877, the Black Hills (Docket 74-A, Docket 74-B and the Cheyenne River Sioux Equitable Compensation Act, etc. The proposed settlement is strictly limited to the trust asset mismanagement claims asserted in the litigation.
The Tribal Council has also directed that the Tribe’s claims, if any, under the January 21, 1952 Order of Restoration signed by the Secretary of the Interior, be included in the Tribal Resolution. The January 21, 1952 Order is included with the information in this packet and is republished below.
6. What is the timeline to receive the money?
According to the Tribe’s outside lawyer, the funds should be available to the Tribe within eight to twelve weeks after the US receives an executed Joint Stipulation and the Stipulation is reviewed and accepted by the Court through issuance of a Court Order.
7. According to the referendum language, tribal members will receive $1,000 dollars, do all members receive the money?
The petition for referendum states that the one thousand dollar per capita payment will be paid: “to all CRST Tribal Members alive on October 1, 2012 or 30 days prior to the disbursement of the Per Capita Payment.”
8. Does accepting the money jeopardize any benefits that tribal members receive?
No. On August 16, 2012, the Social Security Administration issued SI 00830.830 entitled “Indian-Related Exclusions.” SI 00830.830 makes clear that that certain payments made to members of specific Indian tribes and groups are excluded from income and resources in the calculation of benefits for participation in federally-funded programs and benefits. So, if there is a per capita payment to CRST members from the Salazar Settlement, that per capita payment would not affect benefits that fall into the Social Security Administration calculation of benefits.
9. Does accepting the Salazar per capita payment money result in tax liability to the IRS?
No. On September 6, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released an advance copy of Notice 2012-60. Notice 2012-60 makes clear that proceeds of settlements between the United States and federally recognized Indian tribes which are issued to Indian tribe members as a per capita payment would not be taxable to the Tribal member recipient.