State of Oklahoma owes $303,333 in plaintiffs' legal fees over Sharia law case

Oklahoma will have to pay $303,333 in legal fees to plaintiffs’ attorneys who brought lawsuit against Sharia law ballot measure
by Rick Green Modified: May 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm •  Published: May 19, 2014
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The bill has come due for the state’s effort to keep international law and Sharia law out of Oklahoma courts.

It wasn’t cheap.

Oklahoma must pay $303,333 for attorneys’ fees of the plaintiffs who challenged a measure approved overwhelmingly by voters on Nov. 2, 2010, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled May 14.

The Oklahoma Legislature put the measure on the ballot.

Miles-LaGrange found it an unconstitutional infringement on individual rights.

Plaintiff Muneer Awad, an Oklahoma City Muslim man, said in the lawsuit that the measure would stigmatize him and others of his faith, limit the results they can receive in court and prevent his will from being probated in Oklahoma because his will references Sharia law, the Islamic law system.

On May 14, Miles-LaGrange approved a plaintiffs’ motion for attorney fees, costs and nontaxable expenses.

Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma attorney general’s office, which represented the state in the case, said her office does not compile a total of expenses it incurs in such legal defenses.

Micheal Salem, of Norman, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, said there has never been any indication that Sharia law was being applied in Oklahoma courts in the first place.

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by Rick Green
Capitol Bureau Chief
Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman.
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