As was discussed on the Indian Law
Overview page, the McGirt case has resulted in a clear decision that
the State of Oklahoma has never had jurisdiction over Indians in Indian
Country. Various courts, including state courts, have determined
that the reservations given to the five civilized tribes have never been
disestablished and therefore remain to this day. Other tribes will
have to raise this issue on an individual basis.
Because the State (and its political subdivisions) have never had
jurisdiction, Mr. Dunn has filed lawsuits in both state and federal
court in an effort to force the State (and its political
subdivisions) to refund monies that have been paid by Indians in Indian
Country in fines, court costs, or DA supervision fees. Mr. Dunn
believes that to allow the State to keep these funds represents unjust
enrichment, since the State never had the legal ability to force the
Indians to pay those fines and costs. This is especially true
after Murphy was decided in 2017, placing the State on notice that the
Creek Reservation - and several others that were discussed in the
decision - had never been disestablished and the State was lacking
jurisdiction. Instead of paying heed to this decision...the State
continued "business as usual".
Currently, no action has been taken on the federal case that deals with
the Cherokee Reservation. The state court action dealing with the
Creek Reservation was dismissed by the trial court and is on appeal.