Quapaw, OK (May 28th, 2021) – The case filed by John Berrey, Tamara Smiley-Reeves, Barry Switzer, and others in The District Court of Cleveland County in Oklahoma was dismissed yesterday, exactly a month after it was filed. Judge Michael Tupper heard the case.
The motion to dismiss came from two distinct legal doctrines, The Williams Doctrine and Sovereign Immunity, which barred the suit. The Court found the Plaintiffs' arguments against dismissal "Unpersuasive" and inevitably agreed with the defendants.
The Court cited the same legal doctrine the plaintiffs believed gave them a case in Lewis v. Clarke, stating, "It is clear defendants were acting within their official capacities at an event that concerned the internal affairs of the Nation – sovereign immunity applies. Any alleged defamation would have occurred at the direction of the Business Committee during the Annual Meeting."
The courts also granted sovereign immunity to the auditor based on the lack of limitations of what constitutes a tribal official.
The entire case filing can be found below.