United States Supreme Court the Muskogee Creek Nation Reservation Was Never Disestablished
Video Transcribed: Are you entitled to your fines and costs paid to the state of Oklahoma in a criminal matter back? I’m Tulsa criminal attorney, James Wirth. And we’re talking about the class-action lawsuit related to McGirt. All right, there are multiple ones that have been filed. There’s probably many more to come. A little bit of background.
The United States Supreme Court on July 9th of 2020 decided that the Muskogee Creek Nation Reservation was never disestablished. When the court, when the state has been prosecuting native Americans in state court for crimes that occurred on that reservation land, which encompasses most of the Tulsa County and many of the surrounding counties, the state never had jurisdiction to do so.
Many cases are being thrown out and now we’ve got a class-action lawsuit that’s been filed in Okmulgee County District Court. The lawsuit filed by four members of the Cherokee nation alleging that they were prosecuted improperly by the state for crimes that occurred in the Muskogee Creek Nation.
And they paid fines and costs, and they want that money back. And they’re requesting class-action status because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people just like them in this scenario.
And that lawsuit is filed against the governor in his official capacity, on the district attorneys in Tulsa County, McIntosh County, Ragnar County, Creek County, Muskogee County, Hughes County, and Mays County, as well as all of the cities that are in that now larger Muskogee Creek Reservation, including Begs, Bixby, Bowling, Boynton, Bristow, Broken Arrow, and that just gets us through the Bs. Many cities involved there, including Tulsa, Wagoner, Okmulgee, Muskogee, lots of those cities.
That has been filed and is pending. And they’re requesting there to be a class action, which means that it’s not only for those four plaintiffs, but they’re saying that anybody that is in their same situation should be joined in.
You don’t then have to actually request to be joined in if that class-action status is granted, discovery will be done to determine who the class members are and what they may be entitled to back. If you are a Native American who was prosecuted in state court for crimes that allegedly occurred within the new boundaries as understood under McGirt on Muskogee Creek Nation, this case may be a benefit to you.
You may want to follow that. And that’s in Okmulgee County and the file number is CJ 2020 94. You can look that case up by going to ODCR.com or OSCN.net. If you’ve got questions about how this may affect you or if you have any McGirt v Oklahoma questions, you can contact an attorney. If you want to talk to somebody, my office, and go to makelaweasy.com.