Cook, Hubert Franklin, Estate of, 5 IBIA 42 (1976)

Docket Number:IBIA 76-3
 
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Appeal from an order denying petition for rehearing.

Affirmed.

  1. Indian Probate: Half Blood: Generally State statutes of descent and distribution as construed and interpreted by the highest court of the state involved will be considered by the Department as controlling in trust heirship proceedings.

IBIA 76-3

OPINION BY ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE SABAGH

This matter comes before the Board on appeal from an Administrative Law Judge's order denying petition for rehearing.

It appears that Hubert Franklin Cook, an unallottee of the Caddo and Pima Tribes died intestate at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on April 27, 1973, survived by four nieces and three nephews, children of Josephine Cook, decedent's half-blood Pima sister from the first marriage of decedent's father, Luke Frank Cook. Luke Frank Cook, an allotted Pima Indian died intestate on March 16, 1971. Decedent's mother, Annie Johnson, an allotted Caddo Oklahoma Indian, died intestate on October 3, 1949.

At the time of his death, the decedent was possessed of interests in certain allotted lands some of which were inherited from his father, Luke Frank Cook, and some from his mother, Annie Johnson.

After hearing held on August 21, 1974, Administrative Law Judge John F. Curran issued an Order Determining Heirs on February 21, 1975, wherein he found that four nieces and three nephews referred to, supra, were entitled to inherit decedent's interests in the trust and restricted property located on the Wichita-Caddo, Absentee Shawnee, Salt River and Gila River Reservations.

IBIA 76-3

On February 5, 1975, certain whole-blood first cousins of the decedent on his mother Annie Johnson's side filed a motion and demand for hearing to determine heirs with respect to the lands situated in the State of Oklahoma inherited by decedent through his maternal Caddo ancestors and blood line.

Judge Curran decided in the Order Determining Heirs of February 21, 1975, that intestate succession as relating to the Oklahoma property came under Subsection 6, Section 213, Title 84, Oklahoma Statutes. Pursuant thereto, the Judge concluded the nieces and nephews are the nearest blood relatives and the "next of kin" and are the heirs at law to the exclusion of the cousins.

The cousins petitioned for rehearing contending that the Order Determining Heirs as it related to their motion and demand for hearing referred to, supra, was in error. The petitioners further contended that In the Matter of the Estate of Robbs v. Howard, 504 P.2d...

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