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Guide to the James B. Gottstein Alaska Mental Health Trust Lands
litigation records
1982-1997

Collection number: HMC-0886.
Creator: Gottstein, James B.
Title: James B. Gottstein Alaska Mental Health Trust Lands litigation records.
Dates: 1982-1997.
Volume of collection: 537 cubic feet. 
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Litigation records regarding a trust lands lawsuit.

Organizational history:
In 1956 the federal government created a one million acre trust for Alaska’s mental health program, appointing the State of Alaska the trustee.  In 1978, the State of Alaska purported to abolish the Trust by redesignating the land as its own.  This resulted in what was one of the largest lawsuits in Alaska’s history up to that time.  The suit began in 1982 and concluded in 1997.  During the course of the litigation, title to thousands of parcels of land was in dispute and the State of Alaska was prohibited from making any further dispositions of any Trust land unless specifically approved by the court.  There were three failed settlement attempts before one was finally approved in 1994, with appeals being exhausted in 1997.  The settlement included almost one million acres of land (much of it to replace land not returned to the trust), $200 million in cash, and the creation of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.  James B. Gottstein was an attorney for one of the four sets of Trust Beneficiaries and the main land lawyer on the plaintiffs’ side of the case.  For more information regarding the case, see http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/spclint/mht.htm.

Collection description:
This collection consists of James B. Gottstein’s litigation records from the case.  It includes documents, maps, and other materials.

Arrangement: Records are grouped by type.

Digitized copies: Digital copies of collection material not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Copyright protection may apply to many of the materials in the collection.

Preferred citation: James B. Gottstein Alaska Mental Health Trust Lands litigation records, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: This collection was donated to the Archives by James D. Gottstein in 2006.

Processing information: This collection was described by Nicole Jackelen and Arlene Schmuland in 2009.