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Supreme Court of the United States
April 22, 1986, Argued ; June 11, 1986, Decided
[*836] [***847] [**2226] JUSTICE BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question presented by this case is whether respondent's suit against the United States is time barred. In 1954, the Government sold respondent's interests in three Indian allotments to the United States Forest Service for inclusion in the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota. Respondent claims that the sale was void. We hold that respondent's suit is an action "to adjudicate a disputed title to real property in which the United States claims an interest," within the meaning of the Quiet Title Act of 1972, 28 U. S. C. § 2409a(a), and therefore is barred by that Act's 12-year period of limitations. See 28 U. S. C. § 2409a(f).
In 1905, pursuant to [****6] the General Allotment Act of 1887, 24 Stat. 388, as amended, 25 U. S. C. § 331 et seq. (1982 ed. and Supp. II), and the Nelson Act of 1889, 25 Stat. 642, three Chippewa Indian ancestors of respondent Florence Blacketter Mottaz each received an 80-acre allotment on the Leech Lake Reservation in Cass County, [**2227] Minn. 2 Title to each of these allotments was held in trust by the United States. Respondent eventually inherited a one-fifth interest in one of the allotments and a one-thirtieth interest in each of the other two.
In the early 1950's, some holders of fractional interests in Leech Lake allotments petitioned the Department of the Interior to permit them [***848] to sell their lands. 3 [****8] On April 30, 1953, [*837] the Department's Office of Indian Affairs sent respondent two forms, captioned "Consent to Sale of Inherited Lands." App. 42, 43. 4 Accompanying the forms was a letter which [****7] read in part:
"As stated before, some of the owners have requested the sale of this land. Both land and timber, if any, have been appraised; and as soon as we get the consent to sell, an effort will be made to obtain a buyer by advertising for sale bids. This land will not be sold unless the high bid is equal to, or more than, the appraised value. If no reply is received from you within ten (10) days, it will be assumed that you have no objection to the sale." Id., at 15.
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476 U.S. 834 *; 106 S. Ct. 2224 **; 90 L. Ed. 2d 841 ***; 1986 U.S. LEXIS 55 ****; 54 U.S.L.W. 4641
UNITED STATES v. MOTTAZ
Prior History: [****1] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT.
Disposition: 753 F.2d 71, reversed.
allotments, quiet title, Tucker Act, claimants, immunity, suits, district court, statute of limitations, damages, challenges, title of real property, fair market value, accrued, cases, void
Civil Procedure, Pleadings, Complaints, General Overview, Governments, Legislation, Statute of Limitations, Governmental Entities, Time Limitations, Torts, Liability, Claim Presentation, Federal Tort Claims Act, Procedural Matters, Jurisdiction, Jurisdictional Sources, Statutory Sources, State & Territorial Governments, Claims By & Against, Federal Government, Real Property Law, Title Quality, Adverse Claim Actions, Quiet Title Act, Native Americans, Indian General Allotment Act, Property Rights, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction Over Actions, Exclusive Jurisdiction, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, State Court Review