Friday, October 3, 2008


Feather News

This morning in Tribal Court, Judge Jane Freeman denied a motion from the Rome McGuigan attorney representing the tribal government which sought to have a tribal member's election-related complaint dismissed.

The plaintiff in the case is Ken Davison, whose ballot was deemed "spoiled" because he voted for three candidates in the August Council of Elders election and did not vote for the four candidates as required under the existing Election Code.

Davison asserts that his voting privelege is abridged by requiring him to vote for a candidate that he doesn't want to vote for simply for his ballot to count. Davison wants the constitutionality of the Election Code determined and, ulimately, wants the requirement that requires members to vote for all elective positions in an election overturned.

Judge Jane Freeman disagreed with the Rome McGuigan attorney representing the Tribe, Andrew Houlding, that the case is moot and should be dismissed. The election issue will continue to be a controversy in the future and can only be reviewed by the court. In part, that is what makes the case not moot.

Upon hearing that his case will not be dismissed and was not considered moot, Davison withdrew his request for an injunction that could have resulted in a delay of the seating of the four newly-elected members of the Council of Elders. The swearing-in of those new members of the Council of Elders will take place Monday.

Davison said in court that he requested an injunction under his belief that it may be needed to keep the election-related case from being moot but when the judge denied the Tribe's attorney's motion to dismiss the case, Davison withdrew his request for an injunction.

About a dozen tribal members attended the hearing.

Davison represented himself "pro-se" at today's Tribal Court hearing but intends to seek legal counsel prior to the next court date.

The next court date has not yet been set.