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Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals Opinion Finding in Favor of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation Against the Business Interests of Larry and Carla Steckline
February 27, 2019
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Dear Ms. Donohue and Mr. Barton:
I have presented your settlement offer to the Business Committee. My clients were pleased that you want to dismiss your lawsuit so that a new election can be held. The Business Committee was initially surprised that you want a new election.
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The Court of Indian Appeals in its Decision and Order of June 2, 2017, found as follows:
(1) Paul Barton, Cynthia Donohue, Hoyit Bacon, and attorney Scott B. Goode’s coup removing the elected officials was illegal.
(2) Chief Fisher had the constitutional authority to adjourn the General Council Meeting of June 4, 2016.
(3) The Magistrate’s takeover of the election held on January 21, 2017, supported by Paul Barton, attorney Scott B. Goode and Cynthia Donohue was illegal and violated the due process rights of the Nation and its members.
The Plaintiffs concur in the conclusion of the Election Monitor’s Report (“Report”) as to the election’s invalidity. However, the most important reason for that invalidity is not mentioned in the Report. Contrary to the Report’s assumption, the Eligible Voter List, pursuant to which the ballot packets were mailed out, was not up to date. In fact, the Eligible Voter List had not been updated to include those tribal members turning 18, and therefore becoming eligible to vote since the June 16 General Council Meeting. Those omitted voting members, numbering at least 71, exceeded the margin of victory in the Chief election, thereby preventing the results from being capable of determination with mathematical certainty.Read More >
Response to the Amended Petition and Application for Emergency Ex-Parte Temporary/Permanent Injunction and Writ of Mandamus
March 28, 2017
COMES NOW, the Defendants and for their Response to the Petitioner’s Amended Petition and Application for Emergency Ex-Parte Temporary/Permanent Injunction and Writ of Mandamus (“Amended Petition”), allege and state as follows:Read More >
The Defendants’/Appellees’ (“Barton”) Answer Brief warrants comment for multiple reasons. First, its misstatement of facts and law, including the indisputably false characterization of a U.S. Supreme Court holding and the failure to mention the express incorporation of federal constitutional guarantees in the Seneca-Cayuga Nation’s Constitution (“Nation’s Constitution”) while claiming federal law is irrelevant, destroys the Answer Brief’s credibility. Second, the failure of the Answer Brief to address the undisputed facts in the record confirm the arguments for reversal by the Plaintiffs/Apellants (“Fisher”) based on those facts. Third, the Answer Brief’s complete absence of applicable authority demonstrates the failure to rebut Fisher’s proof of error.Read More >
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Defendant(s) named herein, and their agents, servants and all persons acting by or through or under their authority be and are hereby enjoined and restrained from ordering and/or holding any new election pertaining to the offices of Chief of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation and First Committee Person of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation, until this matter is resolved or until further order of the Court.Read More >
The Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. of Oklahoma (“ITC”) and some of its member tribes, including the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, the Wyandotte Nation, the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, the Shawnee Tribe, and the Seneca-Cayuga Nation, filed a Motion for Leave ot Intervene and Protest on July 22, 2016 in FERC Docket 1494-433 opposing the Grand River Dam Authority’s Application for Non-Capacity Related Amendment of License, Including Possible Temporary Variance for 2016, filed May 6, 2016. The Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma and the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma did not join in that motion.Read More >
On Wednesday, Oct. 5th, in celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day, UCO welcomed leaders of Oklahoma’s Native American Nations to campus for “A Gathering of Nations,” a ceremony and banquet honoring Native Americans’ wide-ranging achievements and valuable contributions to Oklahoma’s civic, cultural and economic vitality. UCO President Don Betz highlights the importance of … ContinuedRead More >
Dear Tribal Members:
This year the Nation has been involved in court cases that have delayed the 2016 election of the Business Committee and Grievance Committee offices. The Business Committee is working to conclude these matters so that an election may move forward at the earliest possible date. Your right to vote in Tribal elections by mail-in or absentee ballot has been called into question before the Court of Indian Offenses (CFR Court).Read More >
GROVE, Okla. — A Bureau of Indian Affairs court is delaying an already rescheduled Seneca-Cayuga election.
On Wednesday, Magistrate Tom Walker ruled to postpone a reconvened General Council meeting of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation.
In June, Walker had ordered the tribe to reconvene its General Council meeting on or near July 23 with an independent monitor to oversee its election.
According to the court minute from the hearing, the decision stems in part from a temporary restraining order regarding a candidate challenge issued in May that has not been vacated.
LeRoy Howard, the former chief of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation, filed paperwork to run for another term. His eligibility for office was challenged, prompting litigation in the Miami Agency’s Court of Indian Offenses. That litigation also prompted the Seneca-Cayuga Business Committee to announce in April that the tribe’s regularly scheduled election on June 4 would be postponed.Read More >
Court entertains argument in favor of and in opposition to Motion to Stay Pending Appeal.
Counsel inform that the TRO issued in CIV-16-M03 has not been vacated.
Court takes decision on motion under advisement.
Election ordered at conclusion of the trial postponed.
COME NOW, the Plaintiffs/Appellants and request this Court to stay that portion of its order of requiring the Seneca-Cayuga Nation (the “Nation”) to hold an election on July 23, 2016, with only in-person voting and appointing at the expense of the Nation a Special Master to judicially oversee the election.Read More >