We have some new updates on the Cobell v. Salazar Indian Trust Settlement, including some HUGE payments to the Settlement Administrator…
First, on March 18th, 2013, following Plaintiff’s Motion, the Court granted the request to pay the Settlement Administrator the full $8,593,099.52 they were asking for from the settlement fund. Further, the Court ordered the Special Master to be paid $11,390.00 from the settlement fund.
The Court then referred the case to a magistrate judge to handle to mediation of attorneys’ fees requested, which will likely be in the millions of dollars. A settlement conference which had been set for this morning was rescheduled by the Court to April 29, 2013.
Second, on April 5, 2013, Plaintiffs made a “Motion to Modify Aspects of Class Action Administration” due to the high number of recently filed claims. On April 9, 2013, the Court granted the Plaintiffs’ unopposed Motion and ordered the following new deadlines:
By May 1, 2013, the Claims administrator must make an initial determination of eligibility to all persons who filed a timely claim.
By July 1, 2013, any written requests for reconsideration by denied claimants must be postmarked and sent with all supporting documentation to the Claims Administrator.
By August 1, 2013, The Claims Administrator must respond to any requests for reconsideration with a second determination of eligibility.
By September 4, 2013, all written requests to appeal a second determination of class eligibility must be postmarked and sent to the Claims Administrator.
Further, all claims postmarked by March 30, 2013 will be considered timely even though the deadline was March 1, 2013.
If an eligible class member is the subject of a lien or bankruptcy or receivership, the claims administrator can directly pay the holder or trustee.
The Special Master is authorized to hire staff to perform and include those costs in his invoice.
Are these orders fair and reasonable? Tell us what you think in the comments.