Mott v. United States
283 U.S. 747 (1931)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Mott v. United States, 283 U.S. 747 (1931)

Mott v. United States

No. 78

Argued December 2, 1930

Decided June 1, 1931

283 U.S. 747

Syllabus

1. The United States may sue in behalf of an Indian ward for the purpose of asserting and enforcing his interest in property diverted from a trust fund while being administered by the Government's officers. P. 283 U. S. 750.

2. Authority of the Secretary of the Interior to withhold his approval, necessary to make good a lease of a restricted Indian allotment, includes the lesser authority to give his approval upon condition that the royalties from the lease shall be paid to a representative of the Secretary in trust for the Indian and shall be disbursed only with the Secretary's sanction. P. 283 U. S. 751.

3. A fund held by the Secretary of the Interior for a full-blood Creek Indian, which was derived from royalties on the lease of the Indian's restricted allotment (Act of May 27, 1908) and which is held by the Secretary in trust for the Indian and not to be disbursed without the Secretary's consent, is not subject to be disposed of by the Secretary merely at his own volition. P. 283 U. S. 751.

4. Where the Secretary disbursed such a fund upon a written request which purported to come from the Indian but which the Indian was mentally incompetent to make or understand, the disbursement was unauthorized. P. 283 U. S. 752.

5. In such a case, there is no ground for contending that the Secretary could supply the necessary intent for the incompetent or that there is in the transaction an implied finding of competency that may not be questioned in the courts. P. 283 U. S. 752.

37 F.2d 860 affirmed.

Certiorari, 281 U.S. 714, to review a decree which reversed a decree, 33 F.2d 340, dismissing the bill in a

Page 283 U. S. 748

suit by the United States to recover certain bond on behalf of an Indian.

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