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U.S. Supreme Court

Ickes v. Virginia-Colorado Development Corp., 295 U.S. 639 (1935)

Ickes v. Virginia-Colorado Development Corp.

No. 23

Argued October 16, 1934

Decided June 3, 1935

295 U.S. 639


1. Under R.S. § 2324, a default in performance of annual labor on a mining claim renders it subject to relocation by some other claimant, but it does not affect the locator's rights as regards the United States, and he is entitled to preserve his claim by resuming work after default and before relocation. P. 295 U. S. 644.

2. The Secretary of the Interior has authority to determine that a claim is invalid for lack of discovery, for fraud or other defect, or that it is subject to cancellation for abandonment. P. 295 U. S. 645.

3. With respect to specified minerals, including oil shale, the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 substituted a leasing system for the old system of acquisition by location. It excepts, however, valid claims existent at the date of the passage of the Act and thereafter "maintained" in compliance with the laws under initiated, "which claims may be perfected under such laws." Plaintiff had valid oil shale placer locations, located in 1917 and sustained by performance of annual labor in the years following, until the year ending July 1, 1931, when there was a default, but with no intention to abandon the claims. Two months later, while plaintiff was preparing to resume work, the Land Department began adverse chanrobles.com-red

Page 295 U. S. 640

proceedings in which it declared that, because of the default, the claims were void. Held, that the case was within the exception in the Mineral Leasing Act, and that the proceedings were without authority and were properly enjoined in a suit against the Secretary of the Interior. P. 295 U. S. 645.

643 App.D.C. 47, 60 F.2d 123, affirmed. chanrobles.com-red

Page 295 U. S. 642


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