Friday, July 28, 2023

Gov. Stitt 'encouraged' by Supreme Court putting pause on Tulsa case over tribal citizen violations of city ordinances


OKLAHOMA CITY (July 27, 2023) - Governor Stitt released a statement praising the decision of the United States Supreme Court to temporarily stay the mandate of the 10th Circuit's decision in Hooper v. City of Tulsa

"I am encouraged that the United States Supreme Court delayed the implementation of the 10th Circuit’s devastating decision in Hooper v. City of Tulsa. If the Hooper decision stands, the City of Tulsa, using their own words to the Supreme Court,  “...will no longer be able to enforce violations of municipal ordinances against Indian inhabitants,"" said Gov. Stitt. "We must operate under one set of rules, regardless of race, heritage or background, and cannot allow Tulsa and much of the rest of eastern Oklahoma to be turned into a reservation."

In 2018, Justin Hooper was ticketed for speeding in violation of the City of Tulsa’s municipal code. The municipal court found Mr. Hooper guilty and ordered him to pay a $150 fine, which he paid. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt decision, Mr. Hooper, a member of the Choctaw Nation, filed an appeal for post-conviction relief, arguing that Tulsa lacked jurisdiction to prosecute him for a violation of its local traffic code.

After the municipal court denied Mr. Hooper’s application for relief, Mr. Hooper filed a complaint in federal court. The City of Tulsa responded with a motion to dismiss, arguing that Tulsa had jurisdiction over Mr. Hooper’s traffic case pursuant to a federal statute that existed prior to the formation of the State of Oklahoma. The lower court agreed with Tulsa and granted the city’s motion to dismiss. The Tenth Circuit reversed course, overturning the lower court’s decision and ordering the case remanded for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

Read the Tenth Circuit’s Hooper v. Tulsa decision here.

Read the City of Tulsa's Emergency Application for a Stay of Mandate here.


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