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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1904, Part II
([1904])

Report of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,   pp. 1-198 ff. PDF (110.1 MB)


Page 9

COMMISSION TO THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES.                   9 
ninety days thereafter by any party thereto who'is thus deprived of a favorable
judgment upon his claimed citizenship, be transferred and certified to said
citi- 
zenship court by the court having custody and control of such files, papers,
and 
proceedings, and, upon the filing in such citizenship court of the files,
papers, 
and proceedings in any such citizenship case, accompanied by due proof that
notice in writing of the transfer and certification thereof has been given
to the 
chief executive officer of each of said nations, said citizenship case shall
be 
docketed in said citizenship court, and such further proceedings shall be
had 
therein in that court as ought to have been had in the court to which the
same 
was taken on appeal from the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes and
as 
if no judgment or decision had been rendered therein. 
SEC. 32. Said citizenship court shall also have appellate jurisdistion over
all 
judgments of the courts in Indian Territory rendered under said act of Con-
gress of June tenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, admitting persons to
citi- 
zenship or to enrollment as citizens in either of said nations. The right
of 
appeal may be exercised by the said nations jointly or by either of them
acting 
separately at any time within six months after this agreement is finally
ratified. 
In the exercise of such appellate jurisdiction said citizenship court shall
be 
authorized to consider, review, and revise all such judgments, both as to
find- 
ings of fact and conclusions of law, and may, wherever in its judgment sub-
stantial justice will thereby be subserved, permit either party to any such
appeal 
to take and present such further evidence as may be necessary to enable said
court to determine the very right of the controversy. And said court shall
have 
power to make all needful rules and regulations prescribing the manner of
tak- 
ing and conducting said appeals and of taking additional evidence therein.
Such citizenship court shall also have like appellate jurisdiction and authority
over judgments rendered by such courts under the said act denying claims
to 
citizenship or to enrollment as citizens in either of said nations. Such
appeals 
shall be taken within the time hereinbefore specified and shall be taken,
con- 
ducted, and disposed of in the same manner as appeals by the said nations,
save 
that notice of appeals by citizenship claimants shall be served upon the
chief 
executive officer of both nations: Provided, That paragraphs thirty-on:e,
thirty- 
two, and thirty-three hereof shall go into effect immediately after the passage
of this act by Congress. 
SEC. 33. A court is hereby created, to be known as the Choctaw and Chicka-
saw citizenship court, the existence of which shall terminate upon the final
determination of the suits and proceedings named in the last two preceding
sec- 
tions, but in no event later than the thirty-first day of December, nineteen
hundred and three. Said court shall have all authority and power necessary
to 
the hearing and determination of the suits and proceedings so committed to
its 
jurisdiction, including the authority to issue and enforce all requisite
writs, 
process, and orders, and to prescribe rules and regulations for the transaction
of its business. It shall also have all the powers of a circuit court of
the 
United States in compelling the production of books, papers, and documents,
the attendance of witnesses, and in punishing contempt. * * * 
The court thus created for the purpose of readjudicating the cases 
of so-called " court citizens " rendered a decision on December
17, 
1902, in a test case styled "The Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations or 
Tribes v. J. T. Riddle et al."   This d cree had the effect of nullify-
ing and vacating all judgments theretofore rendered by the United 
States court in Indian Territory, under the provisions of the act of 
June 10, 1896 (Appendix No. 1, p. 54), admitting applicants to citi- 
zenship in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. 
In its opinion in the case cited the court used the following lan- 
guage: 
Owing to the manner in which the lands are held by the two tribes, notice
to both tribes was indispensable, and, being further of the opinion that
the pro- 
ceedings of the United States courts in the Indian Territory, under the said
act 
of June 10, 1896, should have been confined to a review of the action of
the 
Commission of the Five Civilized Tribes upon the papers and evidence sub-
mitted to such Commission and should not have extended to trials de novo
of 
the question of citizenship, we are of opinion, on account of the errors
pointed 
out, that the judgments rendered by the United States court for the Indian
Ter- 
.4 


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