In May 2022, Pike Off OTA brought claims in Cleveland County District Court challenging the OTA’s legal authority to construct 3 proposed new turnpikes.
Since then, there has been a motion to dismiss and an appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in this district court case. Today’s ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court simply says that the Oklahoma Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to decide whether the OTA has legal authority to build the new turnpikes.
This ruling has nothing to do with the merits of the Supreme Court bond validation case. It does not have any bearing on a decision in the Supreme bond validation case. That will still be decided by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
In the words of Pike Off OTA lawyer, Robert Norman: “This means the Pike Off District Court case is over. Take solace in that it served us well. It ground things to a halt in the bond council, and it kept the OTA from getting a line of credit for the purpose of the new alignments. It forced the OTA to go to the Supreme Court instead of trying to do this under the radar screen, without judicial approval. Really all the Supreme Court is saying is that since it’s going to decide the fate of the new turnpikes anyway, it’s going to decide them in the bond validation case. This decision does not allow the OTA to get to the bond market for the purpose of moving forward with the new turnpikes.”