Washington : Government Printing Office
|Chap. 786||Five Civilized Tribes, Okla. Land restrictions.|
|Sec. 3||25 U. S. C. 355 note.|
|Sec. 4||25 U. S. C. 355 note, 502.|
|Sec. 5||Tax exemptions.|
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That subject to the provisions of section 2 of this Act, the period of restrictions against alienation, lease, mortage, or other encumbrance of lands belonging to Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma of one-half degree or more Indian blood, which period was extended to April 26, 1956, by the Act of May 10, 1928 (45 Stat. 495), is hereby extended for the lives of the Indians who own such lands subject to such restrictions on the date of this Act.
(a) Any Indian of the Five Civilized Tribes may apply to the Secretary of the Interior for an order removing restrictions. Within ninety days from the date of the application, the Secretary shall either issue the order or disapprove the application. The order shall be issued if in the judgment of the Secretary the applicant has sufficient ability, knowledge, experience, and judgment to enable him, or her, to manage his, or her, business affairs, including the administration, use, investment, and disposition of any property turned over to such person and the income or proceeds therefrom, with such reasonable degree of prudence and wisdom as will be apt to prevent him, or her, from losing such property or the benefits thereof.
(b) The Secretary of the Interior is authorized and directed to issue, without application, to any Indian of the Five Civilized Tribes, who in the judgment of the Secretary is able to manage his, or her, own affairs, in accordance with the standard specified in subsection (a) of this section, an order removing restrictions that will become effective six months after notice of the order is given to such Indian, unless it is set aside by a county court in accordance with proceedings initiated prior to such time pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. The timely initiation of such proceedings shall stay the effective date of an order until the proceedings are concluded. When the Secretary issues an order pursuant to this subsection, he shall notify the board of county commissioners for the county in which the Indian resides.
(c) If the Secretary of the Interior disapproves, or fails either to approve or disapprove, an application within the ninety-day period prescribed in subsection (a) of this section, the Indian affected may apply to the county court for the county in which he, or she, resides for an order removing restrictions. If the Secretary issues an order removing restrictions without application therefor in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, either the Indian affected or the board of county commissioners may apply to the county court for the county in which the Indian resides for an order setting aside such order. The court shall set a hearing date not less than thirty days from the day it receives the application, and, under rules adopted by the court, notify the board of county commissioners, the welfare departments of the State and county governments, the local representative of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and any other persons the court considers appropriate. At the hearing the court shall examine the Indian and may require the persons who appear before the court to give testimony in the matter of the ability of the Indian to manage his, or her, own affairs. The Secretary of the Interior, and the attorney for the county in which such court is located, shall be given an opportunity to appear at such hearings and
to participate in the examination of the Indian and other witnesses. The evidence taken at the hearing shall be transcribed and filed of record in the case. In determining capability, the court shall apply the standard specified in subsection (a) of this section with respect to determinations by the Secretary. If the court finds that the Indian is able to manage his, or her, own affairs, it shall issue an order removing restrictions or deny the application for an order to set aside an order of the Secretary issued without application therefor, as the case may be. If the court does not find that the Indian is able to manage his, or her, own affairs, it shall deny the application for an order removing restrictions, or set aside an order of the Secretary issued without application therefor, as the case may be. The court shall furnish to the Secretary and to the applicant one certified copy of any final order issued by it. Any final order of the court shall be subject to appeal by the applicant, by the Secretary, or by the board of county commissioners in accordance with the probate laws of the State of Oklahoma, except that no appeal bond shall be required in an appeal by the Secretary.
(d) When an order removing restrictions becomes effective, the Secretary shall cause to be turned over to the applicant full ownership and control of any money and property that is held in trust for him or that is held subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States, issuing, in the case of land, such title document as may be appropriate: Provided, That the Secretary may make such provisions as he deems necessary to insure payment of money loaned to any such Indian by the Federal Government or by an Indian tribe: Provided further, That nothing herein contained shall abrogate the interest of any lessee or permittee in any lease, contract, or permit that is outstanding when an order removing restrictions becomes effective.
Section 23 of the Act of April 26, 1906 (34 Stat. 137), as amended by section 8 of the Act of May 27, 1908 (34 Stat. 312), which expires on April 26, 1956, is continued in force with respect to the restricted properties of Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes as long as such properties remain restricted.
Except as provided in section 2 of this Act, nothing in this Act shall be construed to repeal or to limit the application of the Act of August 4, 1947 (61 Stat. 731); the provisions of which shall continue in effect until otherwise provided by Congress.
Any existing exemption from taxation that constitutes a vested property right shall continue in force and effect until it terminates by virtue of its own limitations.
Approved, August 11, 1955.