Small gets a hearing in Rocky Boy election suit
A former candidate in the 2010 Rocky Boy primary election will finally get his day in court.
A Chippewa Cree Tribe special judge has said oral arguments will be heard at 10 a. m. July 8 for Stacey Small's lawsuit saying procedures, including background checks, had not been properly followed by the tribe's election committee.
Judge Thomas Weathers issued an order Thursday setting deadlines for the defendants to refile a motion to dismiss the case, the plaintiffs to file a response and the defendants to file a reply.
Small and some of his fellow candidates filed a protest over the primary election. The main argument was that a person with a felony record had been allowed to file as a candidate, in violation of tribal law. The election committee denied his complaint, saying background checks had been completed, the candidate in question did not have a felony record and that Small had missed the deadline to protest over a candidate.
Small appealed the decision and Judge Joel Rosette — the nephew of the candidate in question — granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint without holding a hearing.
In May, tribal Appellate Judge Torian Donohoe of Missoula ruled that Rosette had erred in not giving Small and the other plaintiffs a chance to present arguments.