Ponca City, OK

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Cherokee Nation to file opioid suit in state court

Beverly Bryant - January 11, 2018 10:42 am

TULSA, Okla. (AP) – Cherokee Nation leaders say that since a federal judge has ruled that the tribe cannot sue opioid distributors in a tribal court, it will sue in state court.

A Tulsa federal judge this week agreed with major drug distributors who said Cherokee Nation courts have no jurisdiction over them. The Tulsa World reported that Judge Terence Kern said doing business with a tribe does not make the companies subject to its courts.

Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree sued the companies last April, saying addictions to their products threaten the nation’s “political integrity, economic security or health and welfare.”

Kern issued a temporary injunction, leaving the Cherokees a chance to raise arguments that their courts have jurisdiction, but Hembree said Wednesday the tribe will move to an Oklahoma state court.


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