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I just got this back from the court, and that is a case that we were handling, where we had arguments, two arguments actually, we had a speedy trial violation argument that the court and the DA waited too long in pushing this case forward and prosecuting it.
And we also had a McGirt argument, where our client is a Native American and the crime allegedly occurred, well in any part of Tulsa County now is a reservation, or generally considered to be a reservation, either Muskogee Creek Nation or Cherokee Nation.
And in this case, I believe it was in Muskogee Creek Nation part, and based on that, we were able to convince the state to file a motion to dismiss, and this is the order dismissing that charge.
They are dismissing many cases if you have clear evidence that the defendant is Native American and clear evidence that it occurred within the boundaries of the Muskogee Creek Nation, then they are dismissing those and sending those off to either the tribe or the Feds for potential prosecution, depending on what the circumstances of the case are and where it needs to be potentially tried.
But many of those cases are not going to be picked up for various reasons. There is an issue of priority.
The Feds have a limited amount of resources and they’re prioritizing based on the seriousness of the offenses and for tribal court, there are certainly some crimes that just aren’t on the books in tribal court, which makes it difficult to prosecute.
And then there’s also a statute of limitations issues. In this case, we already have a speedy trial violation, so based on that, I’d say the likelihood of reprosecution is low.
We also had good defenses in this case, so this one probably is not going to be reprosecuted, but for any individual case, you’ve got to look into that when deciding your strategy moving forward.
So, a lot of those are being dismissed in Tulsa County, if they’re in Muskogee Creek territory. If they’re in the Cherokee Nation part of Tulsa County, those are not being voluntarily dismissed, as of yet.
The state is fighting those and they’re being put on a docket with judge Priddy, where they’re all put together and basically being passed.
So those are still being litigated as the state fights those, but I don’t think there’s much of an argument that the Cherokee Nation Reservation was not disestablished.
I think it’s going to fall under the same precedent that we got in McGirt v Oklahoma related to Muskogee Creek. There both the civilized tribes had similar circumstances at the time, so it’s just a matter of time, I think, before that falls. But as of now, the state is still fighting those. If you want to talk to somebody in my office, you go to makelaweasy.com.