Oklahoma City attorney appeals ruling on citizen lawsuits

An Oklahoma City attorney is asking the state Supreme Court to weigh in on his challenge of a state law that makes it more difficult for residents to sue to stop alleged government wrongdoing.

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: January 7, 2013
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An Oklahoma City attorney is asking the state Supreme Court to weigh in on his challenge of a state law that makes it more difficult for residents to sue to stop alleged government wrongdoing.

Attorney Jerry Fent filed an appeal Monday with the Oklahoma Supreme Court after a district court judge rejected his initial challenge.

The law signed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2011 changes the required signatures for so-called “qui tam” lawsuits from 10 taxpayers to 100 registered voters. The lawsuits are those filed by citizens in an effort to stop a questionable government action.

Fent says the bill unconstitutionally limits citizens' access to the courts.

The bill's author has said the intent is to keep a small group of disgruntled citizens from delaying government projects.