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CALIFORNIA JURISDICTIONAL BIL
COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAUME
UNITED STATES SENATE
A BILL TO AMEND THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT AUTHORIZIN
CALIFORNIA JURISDICTIONAL BILL
MONDAY, APRIL 29, 1940
UNITED STATES SENATE, COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS, Washington, D. C.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a. m., in room 424, Senate Office Building, Senator Elmer Thomas, of Oklahoma, presiding.
Present: Senators Thomas of Oklahoma (chairman), Frazier, Chavez, Donahey, Bulow, Hatch, Ashurst, McNary, Shipstead, and La Follette, either in person or by proxy.
Also present: W. B. Greenwood, finance officer, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and E. S. McMahon, Esq., Assistant Solicitor, Interior Department.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order. This meeting was called especially to consider S. 1402, a bill introduced by myself, and the purpose of the measure is to amend the act entitled "An act authorizing the attorney general of the State of California to bring suit in the Court of Claims on behalf of the Indians of California," approved May 18, 1928. I will ask that a copy of the bill be made a part of the hearing at this point.
(The bill, S. 1402, is here made a part of the record, as follows:)
[S. 1402, 76th Cong., 1st sess.]
A BILL To amend the Act entitled "An Act authorizing the attorney general of the State of California to bring suit in the Court of Claims on behalf of the Indians of California," approved May 18, 1928 (45 Stat. 602).
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Act of May 18, 1928 (45 Stat. 602), entitled "An Act authorizing the attorney general of the State of California to bring suit in the Court of Claims on behalf of the Indians of California," as amended by the Act of April 29, 1930 (46 Stat. 259), be, and the same is hereby, amended as follows:
SEC. 2. That section 1 of the Act of May 18, 1928 (45 Stat. 602), be amended to read as follows:
"SECTION 1. That for the purposes of this Act the Indians of California shall be defined to be all Indians who were residing in the State of California on June 1, 1852, and their descendants living on May 18, 1928, and others born thereafter and living on date of entry of judgment of the Court of Claims herein, and all Indians who are now on the census roll of the Indians of California as authorized by the Act of May 18, 1928 (45 Stat. 602), as amended, and who may be enrolled in addition thereto under the provisions of this Act."
SEC. 3. That the Act of May 18, 1928 (45 Stat. 602), be amended by adding the following new section "3A”:
"SEC. 3A. Jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the Court of Claims to adjudicate the claims of said Indians, who were not parties to the said unratified treaties notwithstanding lapse of time or statutes of limitation or the fact that the said claim or claims have not been presented to any other tribunal, and it is
hereby declared that the taking and the loss to those Indians who were not parties to the said unratified treaties of their said lands without compensation therefor, and the failure of the United States to protect their interest in said lands is sufficient ground for equitable relief, and it is the purpose of this Act to treat those Indians not parties to said unratified treaties the same as if similar treaties had been negotiated with them, and the court shall consider that such unnegotiated treaties, if negotiated, would have commuted the claim of occupancy of those Indians, not parties to the unratified treaties, into reduced acreages and into pledged goods and services in the same ratios as that which the court shall find to have been promised in the said unratified treaties. To this end and under this declared policy of the Congress the court shall find and determine as near as may be on the evidence submitted, and such finding and determination shall be final and conclusive upon the parties, the number of bands who were parties to the eighteen unratitfied treaties and the number of bands with whom no treaties were negotiated, and in lieu of more definite and conclusive evidence the court is hereby instructed to receive and accept official documents, maps, and records, including reports, records, the maps in the possession of the Smithsonian Institution, and depositions of experts, as sufficient proof. And the court shall find that each band of those Indians not parties to said unratified treaties is entitled to compensation for the wrong done and loss inflicted limited to the average amount allowed each band of those Indians who were parties to said unratified treaties and shall render judgment therefor. The court in finding the number of bands shall consider a village or rancheria as a band.
"Any payment which may have been made by the United States or moneys heretofore expended for the benefit of the Indians of California made under specific appropriations for the support, education, health, and civilization of Indians of California, including purchases of land, shall not be pleaded as an estoppel but may be pleaded by way of set-off against the total amount found due the treaty and nontreaty Indians. The court is hereby authorized and directed to hear, determine, and fix reasonable fees for attorneys, and the compensation for other persons, for services rendered which the court may determine to have merit and value for the benefit of the Indians of California since approval of the Enabling Act of May 18, 1928, on a quantum meruit basis for such services, less any amount that the court upon evidence submitted may find to have been received on account of such services, such fees and compensation not to exceed 5 per centum of the amount recovered, and the court shall find and fix, on the evidence presented, reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of such services, and shall deduct from such finding any amount which the court finds has been paid as expenses for such services, and the difference shall be the amount finally fixed as reasonable expenses, and such fees and compensation and expenses shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury out of the appropriation made by Congress in the payment of any decree rendered and the balance of such appropriation shall be placed in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the Indians of California and shall draw interest at the rate of 4 per centum per annum and shall be thereafter subject to appropriation by Congress for the benefit of the Indians."
SEC. 4. That the Act of May 18, 1928 (45 Stat. 602), be amended by striking from section 6 thereof the following words: “and no part of said judgment shall be paid out in per capita payments to said Indians."
SEC. 5. That section 7 of the Act of May 18, 1928 (45 Stat. 602), as amended by the Act of April 29, 1930 (46 Stat. 259), is further amended by adding the following proviso: "Provided further, That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to allow one year from the date of entry of judgment of the Court of Claims in which to receive applications for enrollment of Indians residing in the State of California on June 1, 1852, and their descendants living on May 18, 1928, and other born thereafter and living on the date of judgment, not now on the census roll of the Indians of California under the Act of May 18, 1928 (45 Stat. 602), as amended, and the Secretary of the Interior shall have six months thereafter to approve such supplemental roll, at the expiration of which time the roll shall be forever closed and thereafter no additional names shall be added thereto.
"The right to present the claims hereunder to the Court of Claims either by original petition or amendment to the petition now pending in the court is extended to any time prior to the entry of judgment."
SEC. 6. That the Act of May 18, 1928 (45 Stat. 602), be amended by adding a new section as follows: