Glacier County, Mont. v. United States, 8734.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtWILBUR, HANEY, and HEALY, Circuit
Citation99 F.2d 733
Docket NumberNo. 8734.,8734.
Decision Date15 October 1938

Horace W. Judson, of Cut Bank, Mont., and H. C. Hall and Edw. C. Alexander, both of Great Falls, Mont., for appellants.

Carl McFarland, Asst. Atty. Gen., C. W. Leaphart, of Missoula, Mont., and Oscar A. Provost, Robert M. Vaughan, and Thomas E. Harris, Attys., Dept of Justice, all of Washington, D. C., and John B. Tansil, U. S. Atty., and Donald J. Stocking, Asst. U. S. Atty., both of Butte, Mont., for the United States.

Before WILBUR, HANEY, and HEALY, Circuit Judges.

HEALY, Circuit Judge.

The appeal is from a decree quieting title of the United States to lands in the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, in Glacier County, Montana, and giving judgment for the recovery with interest of taxes collected by the county from Indian allottees.

The cause was tried without a jury upon documentary evidence and an agreed statement of facts. Briefly, the record discloses that in the year 1918 patents covering the lands involved were issued to the United States in trust for twenty-seven Indians to whom the lands had been allotted in severalty. Within two years thereafter, fee patents were issued to these Indians. It is stipulated that the fee title was granted to the Indians without any application on their part and without their consent. Apparently there was some opposition among the Indians to the policy of the Department and some had said that they would not receipt for the fee patents. There is a letter in the record written under date of April 24, 1918 from the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the special superintendent in charge at the reservation, instructing the latter to inform the Indians that the Secretary of the Interior "has the right to issue these patents, and if they refuse to accept them, you are directed to have the patents recorded and after recording same, to send them to the patentees by registered mail and retain the receipt cards for the files in your office."

In 1919 and 1920 the lands were placed on the tax rolls of Glacier County and taxes levied pursuant to the state laws. Fourteen of the Indians paid taxes, some of these for the first few years only, although the majority of the fourteen paid down to the years 1927 or 1928. Between 1927 and 1932, the Department, under authority of the act of February 26, 1927, 44 Stat. 1247, 25 U.S.C.A. § 352a, canceled the fee patents of all save one of the Indians, on the ground that they had been issued without application or consent. The present suit was brought in September, 1933.

A special act of Congress, approved March 1, 1907, 34 Stat. 1035, had directed that, so soon as all the lands in the Blackfeet Reservation had been surveyed, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs "shall cause allotments of the same to be made under the provisions of the allotment laws of the United States." The trust patents for the allotted lands were in the form required by the General Allotment Act of February 8, 1887, 24 Stat. 388, 25 U.S.C.A. §§ 331 et seq., 339 et seq., 381, declaring that the United States "does and will hold the land thus allotted subject to all statutory provisions and restrictions, for the period of twenty-five years, in trust for the sole use and benefit of the Indian * * * and that at the expiration of said period the United States will convey the same by patent to said Indian * * * in fee, discharged of said trust, and free from all charge or incumbrance whatsoever." Section 5, 25 U.S.C.A. § 348.

The case is controlled by the decisions of this court in United States v. Benewah County, 9 Cir., 290 F. 628; United States v. Nez Perce County, 9 Cir., 95 F.2d 232; United States v. Lewis County, 9 Cir., 95 F.2d 236, and the opinion on petition for rehearing in the two latter cases, 9 Cir., 95 F.2d 238. These cases, in line with the general authority on the subject, hold that a grant of immunity from taxation during the trust period is implied from the allotment act and the terms of the trust patents; and that this immunity is a vested right of which the Indian may not be deprived without his consent. Appellants contend that the two later decisions, at least, are distinguishable, the distinction being that the Congressional act authorizing the allotments in the present instance was passed, and the trust patents issued, subsequent to the passage of the so-called Burke Act of May 8, 1906, 34 Stat. 182, 25 U.S.C.A. § 349. By this act — which was an amendment to the General Allotment Act of February 8, 1887 — the Secretary of the Interior was authorized, if...

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  • Bordeaux v. Hunt, Civ. No. 82-3081.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. District of South Dakota
    • November 14, 1985
    ...patent. Board of Commissioners of Jackson County v. United States, 100 F.2d 929 (10th Cir.1938); Glacier County, Mont. v. United States, 99 F.2d 733 (9th Cir.1938); United States v. Lewis County, 95 F.2d 236 (9th Cir.1938); United States v. Nez Perce County, 95 F.2d 232 (9th Cir.1938); Boar......
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    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • December 4, 1978
    ...not be terminated without their consent prior to the end of the designated period of trust. See, e. g., Glacier County v. United States, 99 F.2d 733, 734 (9th Cir. 1938); United States v. Nez Perce County, 95 F.2d 232, 234-35 (9th Cir. 1938); Board of Commissioners of Caddo County v. United......
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    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 18, 1939 the same court in United States v. Lewis County, Idaho, 9 Cir., 95 F.2d 236 and Glacier County, Mont., v. United States, 9 Cir., 99 F.2d 733. 2 Cf. Virginian R. Co. v. System Federation No. 40, 300 U.S. 515, 552, 57 S.Ct. 592, 601, 81 L.Ed. 789. 3 See e.g., § 5 of the General Allotment A......
  • United States v. Ferry County, E — 4494.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of Washington
    • July 16, 1941 case where an allottee was involved in which the trust patent was issued after 1910. Glacier County, Montana v. United States, 9 Cir., 99 F.2d 733. So far as I have been able to find, there are no cases discussing this precise combination of circumstances. Consequently, defendants conte......
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