IN THE COMANCHE NATION TRIBAL COURT
LISA DAWSEY, Petitioner/Appellant,
MARK WOOMAVOVAH, et al., Appellee/Plaintiff,
Case No. AD-2023-0006
ORDER AND OPINION
THIS MATTER comes before the Court from a Petition for Temporary Restraining Order, Declaratory Judgment, and Equitable Relief filed by the Pro Se Petitioner/Appellant (hereinafter “Petitioner) on June 5, 2023. The Respondents/Appellees (hereinafter “Respondents”) filed a response on June 8, 2023. This matter comes before this Court as a matter original and exclusive jurisdiction to constitutional matters. See Title 1, Sections 1.03 and 1.04, Comanche Nation Constitution. The “early in-person voting” for the Runoff Election is scheduled for June 9, 2023, and the regular in-person voting is set for June 10, 2023. Absentee ballots are due at the post office by 12:00 p.m. on June 9, 2023, to ensure receipt and casting of mailed ballots.
The Petitioner brings forth several issues, that involve matters of both facts and law, regarding the regularity of the election process at the Comanche Nation. Any factual disputes would call for an evidentiary hearing, while any questions of law can be resolved by this Court without a hearing. In reviewing the proposed facts by both the Petitioner, (and Respondents?) it would appear is some disagreement and would call for an evidentiary hearing on the matter. However, before this Court could hold a hearing, it must determine whether it can proceed further based on the facial allegations contained in the initiating Petition to even conduct a hearing, hear evidence, and apply the law.
In accordance with Title 3, section 65D of the Comanche Nation Rules of Civil Procedure, a petition seeking immediate relief, as this Petitioner does, must at least allege “immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage to the [petitioner].” Id. See also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). In reviewing the Petitioner’s allegations, she does not allege any harm, injury, or loss. See generally, Petition. While the Court may provide liberal review of a pro se party’s case, it cannot supplement foundational elements necessary for the Court to consider the request.
The Petitioner’s issues and claims alleged, if accurate, are concerning to this Court, and must be rectified in accordance with the Comanche’s Nation’s law, rules, and regulations. The Respondents point out in their briefing additional unaddressed issues that involve jurisdictional concerns, procedural hurdles, and factual disputes. Considering the fundamental necessity of demonstrating harm, loss, or damage to this specific Petitioner, and noting that the June 5, 2023, Petition is devoid of any such assertion, this Court has limited jurisdiction in its review, and cannot proceed any further on issuing a ruling that would immediately halt the election.
Therefore, because of the lack of harm, loss, or damage to this Petitioner, the Petition for Temporary Restraining Order, Declaratory Judgment, and Equitable Relief is HEREBY DENIED. This Order is limited in scope to the foundational grounds of the June 5, 2023, Petition, and does not prohibit or limit any future administrative or legal action that may be raised to address the legitimacy of those elected to office, nor does it limit future challenges to elections should any alleged issues, if proven true, not be addressed and rectified. Any motions for reconsideration of this Court's Order must be filed, served on all parties, within ten (10) days of this Order.
Dated this 8th day of June 2023.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
ROBERT DON GIFFORD, Associate Judge
CASEY ROSS, Associate Judge
RYLAND RIVAS, II, Chief Judge
COMANCHE NATION APPELLATE COURT