« AnteriorContinuar »
government both before it was enacted, [H.R. REP. NO. 910, 86th Cong., 1st Sess. (1959), and S. REP. No. 863, 86th Cong., 1st Sess. (1959), Defendants' Exhibits 25, 26], and after it was enacted. [Excerpts from Hearings on S.3174 Before the
Subcommittee on Indian Affairs of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, 87th Cong. 2d. Sess. (1962); Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch of Tribal Relations list: Indian Tribes Terminated from Federal Supervision, April 1, 1981, Defendants' Exhibit 10, 39]; Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah v. United States, 406 U.S. 128, 133 n.1 (1972). The termination of the special federal status of the Catawbas' made state law apply to them, and to any claim they may have had. See, e.g., Taylor v. Hearne, 637 F.2d 689 (9th Cir., cert. denied, U.S. S.Ct. 291 (1981); United States v. Heath, 509 F.2d 16 (9th Cir. 1974); Bryan v. Itasca County, Minnesota, 426 U.S. 373 (1976).
4. Because section five of the Catawba Act explicitly made state law applicable to the Catawbas and the termination of the trust relationship accomplished the same result, South Carolina's statute of limitations began to run against any claim the Catawbas or the plaintiff may have had on July 1, 1962, the date the Catawbas' constitution was revoked. See, e.g. Schrimpscher v. Stockton, 183 U.S. 290 (1902); Dillon v. Antler Land Co., 341 F. Supp. 734 (D. Mont. 1972), aff'd, 507 F.2d 940 (9th Cir. 1974) cert. denied, 421 U.S. 992 (1975); Dennison v. Topeka Chambers Development Corp., 527 F. Supp. 611 (D. Kan. 1981).
5. The relevant South Carolina statute of limitations
is $15-3-340. That statute requires that an action to recover title or possession be brought within ten years. An action to recover title or possession brought more than 18 years after that statute began to run is, accordingly, barred. Although South Carolina appears to prevent a party from obtaining title by adverse possession from "tacking" his period of possession to a
predecessor's period of possession (unless the land passed by
inheritance) that rule is not relevant to the defendants'
assertion that the plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute
Haithcock v. Haithcock, 123 s.c. 61; 115 S.E.
Although the plaintiff asserts claims other than
those based on the Nonintercourse Act, the United States imposed no general restraint on the alienation of lands owned by Indians
other than the various versions of the Indian Trade and
Intercourse Acts, the first of which was enacted on July 22,
1790, and imposed no specific restraint on the alienation of these lands. Even if such other claims existed, section five of
the Catawba Act has made the South Carolina statute of
limitations apply, and bar, those claims.
7. The plaintiff's arguments against the application of the South Carolina statute of limitations are unavailing:
It is inconsistent with the language and
legislative history of the Catawba Act, and with official
federal policy during the termination era, to read the Act only to revoke the 1943 Memorandum of Understanding. The
Catawba Act does not mention the Memorandum of Understanding.
Moreover, an act of Congress was not required for the United
States either to enter into or
to terminate that Memorandum
Construing the Catawba Act as making state
statutes of limitation apply and begin to run would not
enforce any rights they may have had and ended any trust
Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah v. United States, 4UÓ U.S.
Finally, Menominee Tribe v. United States, 391
U.S. 404 (1968), does not require a different result.
the Menominee Court read other legislation, Public Law 280,
As A Result Of The Catawba Act, The Plaintiff Cannot
8. In order to prevail on its Nonintercourse Act claims, the plaintiff must demonstrate that it presently constitutes an Indian tribe within the meaning of the Nonintercourse Act, Mashpee Tribe v. New Seabury Corp., 592 F.2d 575, 581 and 587 n. 8 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 866 (1979), was a tribe when the Nonintercourse Act was violated, Epps v. Andrus, 611 F.2d 915, 918 (1st Cir. 1979), and continuously was a tribe in the intervening period. See, Mashpee Tribe v. New Seabury Corp., supra; cf., 25 C.F.R. $54.1 et. seq. 9. The Catawba Act precludes the plaintiff, as a matter of law, from demonstrating present or continuous tribal existence. To be a tribe a group must have a legal and political existence setting it apart from the general mass. United States Joseph, 94 U.S. 614, 617 (1877); United States v. Antelope, 430 U.S. 641, 646 (1977). Congress may, however, terminate the political existence which is crucial to tribal existence. Unitea
States v. Wheeler, 435 U.S. 313, 323 (1978).
Section five of the Catawba Act revoked the tribal constitution and dissolved the former tribal government of the Catawbas. After the revocation of the tribal constitution the Catawbas were not a governmental entity. Instead, they were permitted to organize on a voluntary basis under state law to carry on nongovernmental activities of the group. Congress' explicit termination of the special federal relationship between the Catawbas and the United States bars the plaintiff, as a matter of law, from proving present or continuous tribal
Congress Ratified The Transfer Of The Land Effected By
11. Congress may ratify, and thereby validate, a
disputed transfer of Indian land in any manner which recognizes the occurrence or effect of the transfer, including a statute enacted long after the transfer. See, e.g., Seneca Nation of Indians v. United States, 173 Ct. Cl. 912 (1965). A subsequent congressional enactment which recognizes that land formerly owned by Indians is no longer owned by them has been construed to validate the original transfer, Seneca Nation, supra, as has an enactment which authorized the United States to receive and administer the funds received from the disputed transfer. Seneca Nation v. Christy, 126 N. Y. 122 (1891), writ of error dismissed on other grounds, 162 U.S. 283 (1896).
12. Congress was unquestionably aware of the 1840 Treaty of Nation Ford and in fact reference is made to it in the House Committee Report. [H.R. REP. NO. 910, 86th Cong., 1st Sess. (1959), Defendants' Exhibit 25] Further, section two of the Catawba Act, 25 U.S.C. 5932, explicitly refers to the assets held by the State of South Carolina in trust. Those "assets" included the 630 acres purchased for the Catawbas as a result of the 1840 Treaty. Congress' explicit recognition of those assets and treatment of them in the Catawba Act constitutes explicit recognition and an implicit ratification of the 1840 Treaty.
The Catawba Act Ended Any Trust Relationship Between Tne
13. Finally, to successfully maintain a Nonintercourse
A judgment order follows:
Jon W. lliams, flerk
B: Deputy Clerk