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.