Rogers County Courthouse

Litigation aiming to disgorge the state and political subdivisions of their ill-gotten gains has been filed, naming Rogers County entities and courts in the process.

In response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the McGirt case,a  trio of attorneys representing five plaintiffs have filed litigation in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

The case named Rogers County District Court, District Attorney Matt Ballard, Rogers County Court Clerk Cathi Edwards and the towns of Chelsea, Claremore, Oologah, Talala and Verdigris as defendants.

"The United States Supreme Court made it clear that, for more than a century, the State of Oklahoma and its political subdivisions have charged, find and otherwise imposed court costs or administrative fees resulting in large sums of money being taken from tribal members without the jurisdiction to do so," the lawsuit states. "This lawsuit has been brought by the Plaintiffs..to disgorge the state and its political subdivisions of their ill-gotten gains and to recover the monies paid to the courts, district attorneys,...that were paid as fines and costs and levied without jurisdiction to do so."

The lawsuit outlines the various traffic and misdemeanor offenses of which the plaintiffs, all tribal members,  were charged or convicted on what is known to be tribal land.

The attorneys explained that the lawsuit was being filed as a sort of class action suit because "if these claims were prosecuted individually and separately, there is risk that the courts of the various counties (12 in total) could result in different verdicts and allow for different standards of conduct on the part of the defendants."

The lawsuit claims that the state does not have jurisdiction over crimes committed by or against Indian in Indian Country and posed that the defendants be required to return all, or at least a portion, of the money they acquired "without lawful authority.

The suit seeks settlement in the form of a refund in excess of $75,000.

In a special meeting Friday the Rogers County Commissioners voted to retain Best & Sharp to represent Edwards in the litigation.

Litigation aiming to disgorge the state and political subdivisions of their ill-gotten gains has been filed, naming Rogers County entities and courts in the process. 

In response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the McGirt case,a  trio of attorneys representing five plaintiffs have filed litigation in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

The case named Rogers County District Court, District Attorney Matt Ballard, Rogers County Court Clerk Cathi Edwards and the towns of Chelsea, Claremore, Oologah, Talala and Verdigris as defendants. 

"The United States Supreme Court made it clear that, for more than a century, the State of Oklahoma and its political subdivisions have charged, find and otherwise imposed court costs or administrative fees resulting in large sums of money being taken from tribal members without the jurisdiction to do so," the lawsuit states. "This lawsuit has been brought by the Plaintiffs..to disgorge the state and its political subdivisions of their ill-gotten gains and to recover the monies paid to the courts, district attorneys,...that were paid as fines and costs and levied without jurisdiction to do so."

The lawsuit outlines the various traffic and misdemeanor offenses of which the plaintiffs, all tribal members,  were charged or convicted on what is known to be tribal land. 

The attorneys explained that the lawsuit was being filed as a sort of class action suit because "if these claims were prosecuted individually and separately, there is risk that the courts of the various counties (12 in total) could result in different verdicts and allow for different standards of conduct on the part of the defendants."

The lawsuit claims that the state does not have jurisdiction over crimes committed by or against Indian in Indian Country and posed that the defendants be required to return all, or at least a portion, of the money they acquired "without lawful authority.

The suit seeks settlement in the form of a refund in excess of $75,000.

In a special meeting Friday the Rogers County Commissioners voted to retain Best & Sharp to represent Edwards in the litigation.

Trending Video

Recommended for you