State Asks Court For Injunction To Halt
Narconon Operation At Chilocco
The Newkirk Herald Journal (?),
2 August 1990
NEWKIRK - Kay County district Attorney Joseph A. Wideman, Monday filed a petition seeking to enjoin Narconon International, Inc., from operating an unlicensed and uncertified alcohol and drug abuse treatment service at Chilocco. The application for injunction names the State of Oklahoma Commissioner of Health Joan K. Leavitt, M.D., and the Oklahoma State Department of Health as plaintiffs, and Narconon International, Inc. as defendant.
Narconon's service agent of record was served with the appropriate papers about noon Monday, Wideman said. There will be a hearing on the state's application for injunction before the chief judge of the District Court, Neal Beeleman, on Tuesday, August 14th at 9 a.m. in Courtroom A at the Kay County Courthouse in Newkirk.
The petition filed by the state says that Narconon is operating an uncertified and unlicensed alcohol and drug abuse treatment service in violation of Oklahoma law. It notes that while Narconon is housed on Indian land, it is operated by non-Indians and is providing services mainly to non-Indians.
Narconon, according to the petition filed Monday, is housing persons in need of substance abuse treatment and is providing care and receiving compensation without being licensed by the Oklahoma State Department of Health or being certified by the Department of Mental Health. The petition says Narconon has been in violation of state law since February 1990 and continuing through the present.
The state's petition asks the court to "temporarily and permanently enjoin the Defendant from operating an unlicensed alcohol and drug abuse treatment service..." and asks that Narconon be made responsible for attorney fees and court costs.
In an attached brief supporting its case, the state says that... "The defendant (Narconon) has failed to become certified and licensed by the proper regulatory bodies prior to its operation. Therefore, injunctive relief should be granted."
"The integrity of legitimate treatment services are jeopardized when unauthorized and unlicensed facilities are allowed to operate. Injunctive relief is necessary, appropriate, and mandated by both case law and statute.
The second major proposition of the supporting brief argues that the state does have licensing and certification jurisdiction over Narconon, even though it is on Indian land.
"The state courts have jurisdiction over the conduct of defendant, a non-Indian entity engaging in activity on Indian Land due to the state's strong interest in providing health care to its citizens and its minimal impact on Indian self-government.
Wideman said Monday that there are four considerations that determine whether the state maintains jurisdiction in such cases: First, Federal law must not pre-empt state law in the matter at issue. Second, state law must not infringe upon the rights of reservation Indians to govern themselves. Third, the organization itself is non-Indian owned and operated, and fourth, it is treating primarily non-Indians.
Concludes the brief: "This Court has jurisdiction over this cause since state action is not federally pre-empted and tribal self-government is not burdened. Narconon is neither owned nor operated by Indians. Their facility is primarily treating non-Indians. Narconon has failed to become certified and licensed by the proper regulatory bodies. Injunctive relief should be granted."
Narconon spokesman Bruce Pyle has been quoted in printed reports as saying Monday that Narconon still intends to apply for state certification and licensing. Narconon's Certificate of Need expired June 30. Pyle would not comment on whether non-Indian patients have been treated at the facility.