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UNITED STATES V. MARTINEZ, 195 U. S. 469 (1904)

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Martinez, 195 U.S. 469 (1904)

United States and the Kiowa Indians v. Martinez

No. 16

Argued October 21-22, 1904

Decided December 5, 1904

195 U.S. 469


In an action brought under the Indian Depredation Act of March, 3 1891, 26 Stat. 851, a tribe of Indians not originally named in the petition cannot be brought into the action by amended petition after the expiration of three years from the filing of the original petition in the Court of Claims.

This action was brought in the Court of Claims on October 24, 1891, to recover damages against the United States and the Ute Tribe of Indians, in the sum of $1,400, the value of certain sheep alleged to have been taken and destroyed or used in June, 1873, by the said Indians. The petition was filed under the provisions of the Act of March 3, 1891, entitled "An act to Provide for the Adjudication and Payment of Claims Arising from Indian Depredations." 26 Stat. 851. On February 5, 1902, the Assistant Attorney General of the United States answered the allegations of the petition

Page 195 U. S. 470

by a general denial. On November 4, 1902, the claimant filed a motion for leave to file an amended petition, charging the depredation to have been committed by the Kiousa Indians, which motion was allowed, and upon the same day, the amended petition was filed. On November 5, 1902, the Assistant Attorney General, appearing on behalf of the United States and the Kiousa Indians, filed a plea to the amended petition setting up that no action had been commenced against the Kiousa Indians within three years after the passage of the Act of March 3, 1891. On November 11, 1902, this plea in bar was overruled, and, upon the general issue being pleaded and trial had, the court found as a matter of fact: at the time of the depredation, the claimant's decedent was a citizen of the United States. In June, 1873, in Mora County, New Mexico, Indians belonging to the Kiousa Tribe took and drove away property of the kind and character described in the petition, the property of claimant's decedent, which was reasonably worth the sum of $690. At the time of said depredation, defendant Indians were in amity with the United States.

As a conclusion of law, the majority of the court decided that the claimant recover a judgment against the United States and the Kiousa Indians in the sum of $690.

The defendants appealed to this Court.

Page 195 U. S. 472

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