B-223750 March 13, 1987

B-223750: Mar 13, 1987

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All of whom you say were full-blooded Creek Indians. That his estate was distributed equally to his two children. Although it is not entirely clear. You allege you are owed certain mineral rights on lands in Morris. You state you were promised payment 7 years ago. Determined that you are the son of Susuan Tiger Kelly and grandson of Seemsey Tiger. /1/ Your claims raise jurisdictional and statue of limitations problems. You allegations suggest that your claims are based principally on mineral rights you have in lands in Morris. This Office is not the appropriate forum for adjudicating interests in mineral rights. Our claims settlement authority generally is limited to making specific money payments.

B-223750 March 13, 1987

Mr. Marshall Kelly 2710 N. Miami #601 Okmulgee, Oklahoma 74447

Dear Mr. Kelly:

This replies to your letter of June 14, 1986, in which you make various claims resulting from inheritances from your ancestors. For the reasons given below, we must deny your claims.

You appear to claim inheritance through Tecumseh Tiger, your great uncle, Sampson a/k/a Seemsey Tiger, your grandfather, and Susan Tiger Kelly, your mother, all of whom you say were full-blooded Creek Indians. You indicate that Sampson Tiger died on January 12, 1903, and that his estate was distributed equally to his two children, Alberd Tiger and Susan Tiger Kelly. Although it is not entirely clear, you allege you are owed certain mineral rights on lands in Morris, Hoffman, and Beggs, Oklahoma, as well as back payments resulting from your relationship to the individuals mentioned. Regarding the claim in Beggs, Oklahoma, you state you were promised payment 7 years ago, apparently by the Department of the Interior or the Treasury Department. You now demand $65,000 for this part of your claim. A private relief bill accompanying your request states that the District Court, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, determined that you are the son of Susuan Tiger Kelly and grandson of Seemsey Tiger. /1/

Your claims raise jurisdictional and statue of limitations problems, as well as the evidentiary issues which we discuss below. You allegations suggest that your claims are based principally on mineral rights you have in lands in Morris, Hoffman and Beggs, Oklahoma. This Office is not the appropriate forum for adjudicating interests in mineral rights. See B-218982, November 1, 1985; B-207613, April 6, 1983. Our claims settlement authority generally is limited to making specific money payments. B-171947, June 16, 1972. Thus, we cannot determine whether you have mineral rights in the lands you describe.

We also point out that the statute authorizing us to settle claims against the United States has a 6-year period of limitations, 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3702(b)(1). Thus, many specific money claims you might have would be barred if they arose more than 6 years ago.

Regarding the evidence necessary to support a claim, we have held that the burden of proof in establishing the liability of the United States is on the claimant. 4 C.F.R. Sec. 31.7; 31 Comp.Gen. 340 (1952). We cannot authorize payment of claims against the Government based solely on statements submitted by a claimant that are mot supported or corroborated in some manner by Government records or documentary evidence. B-201150, May 13, 1981.

Sincerely yours,

ROBERT H. HUNTER Assistant General Counsel

1. You did not provide us a copy of this decree.