Welcome to the Information Website for the Keepseagle v. Vilsack Settlement.
SUPREME COURT DENIES REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF DISTRICT COURT RULING APPROVING FINAL PLAN FOR DISTRIBUTION OF REMAINING FUNDS -- PREVAILING CLAIMANTS TO RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT
On March 26, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court denied the request by two objectors for review of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling affirming the district court’s decision approving the plan for distribution of the remaining funds. That ruling, described in detail here, provided for a payment of $18,500 to each prevailing claimant, along with $2,775 to the IRS on behalf of each claimant. Checks were mailed on May 21, 2018. Please allow at least 10 business days for your check to arrive given the intervening holiday. If you are a prevailing claimant and have an issue with your check, you can reach the Settlement Administrator at 888-233-5506 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.