Turner v. McGee, et al, No. 10-6031 (10th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff-Appellant Michael Turner, a member of the Kiowa Tribe, was charged by Oklahoma state authorities with instituting or encouraging cockfighting. The state court rejected his argument that the crime took place in Indian Country. While state prosecution was ongoing, Plaintiff requested that the Court of Indian Offenses for the Kiowa Tribe enjoin the state proceeding. That court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff was subsequently convicted in state court. Plaintiff then sued the judges of the Court of Indian Offenses in federal district court. The district court denied relief, concluding that the defendants were entitled to sovereign immunity as tribal officials. After its review, the Tenth Circuit concluded that Plaintiff lacked standing because he could not establish redressability. Given the procedural posture of this case, it was unclear what, if any, action the district court could have taken to undermine Plaintiff's conviction.