Delay granted in federal water rights lawsuit involving Oklahoma tribes

A federal court water rights lawsuit between the state of Oklahoma and the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations has been put on hold to give attorneys more time to try to negotiate a settlement.
by Randy Ellis Published: July 21, 2012

A federal court water rights lawsuit between two southeastern Oklahoma Indian tribes and the state of Oklahoma has been put on hold to give attorneys more time to try to negotiate a settlement.

Oklahoma City federal judge Lee R. West on Friday granted a 60-day delay in legal proceedings at the request of attorneys for the state and the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations.

The judge set a new deadline of Sept. 18 for attorneys to report on the status of mediation efforts.

The Chickasaw and Choctaw nations filed a lawsuit in August, essentially claiming water rights in much of southeastern Oklahoma.

The tribes have challenged the authority of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to authorize the sale and transfer of water from property within tribal jurisdictions without first negotiating permission from the tribes.

by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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