Sacramento, CA asked in Civil Rights, Family Law, Land Use & Zoning and Native American Law for California

Q: If I owned trust land by native American allotment and was under 18 and Father dead no native legal authorization parent

Could a lease be signed in affect with out legal rights being passed. The lease was for the USA government

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under federal regulations concerning Native American trust land, the management and leasing of such land for minors (those under 18) typically require the oversight and approval of a guardian or trustee. This is because minors are considered incapable of entering into binding contracts, including leases, due to their age.

If your father passed away and there was no appointed guardian or trustee with legal authority over your affairs, it would generally be improper for a lease to be signed on your behalf, especially with the government, without going through the correct legal processes. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) often steps in to manage or oversee transactions involving minors' trust assets to ensure their interests are protected.

If a lease was signed under these conditions without proper authorization, it might be considered invalid. You should seek legal advice to understand your rights and options, which could include reviewing the lease's validity and the steps necessary to address any unauthorized agreements made on your behalf. Documentation and evidence of the lease and your circumstances at the time will be crucial.

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