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District court re-issues order in favor of hospital, county

While it was a start of a new year for the courts in McCurtain County, the matter before it was not new when on January 2, 2024, Judge Emily Maxwell issued her ruling, now for the second time, in favor of McCurtain Memorial Hospital and the Board of County Commissioners, that the November 8, 2022 election was valid.

The January 2 order came as little to no surprise to anyone following the case.

In June 2023, Maxwell originally issued her order in response to the hospital's motion for summary judgment that the election was valid. In November 2023, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the order was premature and that Maxwell's court did not have jurisdiction over the case at the time. Following the Supreme Court's November ruling, the case, with instructions, returned back to Maxwell.

On January 2, Maxwell wrote, "Hospital requests that this Court re-enter and adopt the same summary judgment ruling that the Court filed on June 20, 2023 (Exhibit A). Since that summary judgment ruling was vacated solely on the above-stated procedural ground, and since jurisdiction is now restored to this Court, the Court hereby adopts the same summary judgment ruling that it issued and filed on June 20, 2023. The Court hereby adopts and incorporates by reference the terms of such June 20, 2023 ruling..." A copy of the court's full order is attached here:

Download PDF • 363KB

Now, with the matter fully disposed of at the District Court level, the matter now sits with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. That Court will now decide whether the 2022 election was valid. Their decision could take two years to be handed down.

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