Welcome to the Information Website for the Keepseagle v. Vilsack Settlement.
COURT APPROVES FINAL PLAN FOR DISTRIBUTION OF REMAINING FUNDS PREVAILING CLAIMANTS TO RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT – BUT APPEAL WILL DELAY IMPLEMENTATION
Following completion of the claims process and payment of all successful claims pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, there is approximately $380 million remaining in the settlement fund. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, those funds may only be given to non-profit organizations which provide services to current Native American farmers and ranchers and Native Americans seeking to become farmers and ranchers. An agreed proposal to revise the provisions governing the cy pres funds was approved by the Court. Full details are here.
Organizations interested in applying for awards from the
cy pres fund should click here.
The claim filing deadline for the Keepseagle settlement was December 27, 2011. All determinations on claims have been issued at this time. For important tax information for successful claimants, please click here.
A $760 million Settlement with the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”)
has been reached in the Keepseagle v. Vilsack class action lawsuit. The lawsuit
claimed the USDA discriminated against Native Americans by denying them equal access
to credit in the USDA Farm Loan Program.
The lawsuit claims that the USDA denied thousands of Native American farmers and
ranchers the same opportunities to get farm loans or loan servicing that were given
to white farmers and ranchers. Plaintiffs also claim that the USDA did not do outreach
to Native American farmers and ranchers or provide them with the technical assistance
they needed to prepare applications for loans and loan servicing.
The Class includes all Native American farmers and ranchers who:
- Farmed or ranched or attempted to farm or ranch between January 1, 1981 and November
24, 1999; and
- Sought, or attempted to seek, a farm loan from the USDA
during that period; and
- Complained about discrimination to the USDA orally
or in writing on their own or through a representative, such as a tribal government,
during the same time period.
Excluded are claims of Class Members who either:
- Experienced discrimination only between January 1 and November 23, 1997; or
Complained of discrimination only between July 1 and November 23, 1997.
This website will be updated as more information becomes available. Please check
back periodically for important updates regarding the Settlement.