Group of citizens file federal lawsuit against City of Guthrie

Updated on April 30, 2020 — A judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit filed against the City of Guthrie regarding COVID-19 ordinances. The suit was filed on behalf of 10 citizens. More to come.

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A group of 10 citizens joined a Oklahoma City law firm and filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Guthrie in U.S. district court on Wednesday. The group is requesting to strike down Guthrie’s COVID-19 ‘shelter-in-place’ ordinance.

The suit seeks both a temporary and permanent injunction against enforcement of the ordinance, which names the City of Guthrie, Mayor Steven Gentling, Police Chief Don Sweger, members of the city council and city attorneys William W. Wheeler and Sheri L. Mueller.

The Guthrie City Council passed a shelter-in-place ordinance on April 6 in an effort to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The ordinance (3330) is set to expire on May 5, but the City has called for a special meeting on Monday to determine the ordinance. Related Article: City of Guthrie issues Shelter in Place; face masks now mandatory

The suit seeks both a temporary and permanent injunction against enforcement of the ordinance.

The ordinance is similar to several other Oklahoma cities during the coronavirus pandemic. Guthrie added another mandate of requiring citizens to wear a cloth face mask when going in public.

The lawsuit was filed by Oklahoma City attorney Frank Urbanic on behalf of 10 people who live in Guthrie or conduct business in Guthrie.

Urbanic is requesting an award for the plaintiffs to receive reasonable attorney fees, costs and expenses.

“Prior to filing this lawsuit, we gave Guthrie the opportunity to rescind the Ordinance. The last word from the City Attorney was his asking us to wait until after a city council meeting that would happen ‘maybe as early as Monday,'” according to Urbanic.

“There was no guarantee that a meeting would occur, and there was no guarantee that the ordinance would be rescinded. Fundamental rights were being violated on a daily basis, so waiting until “maybe” Monday was completely unacceptable.”

Urbanic added, “A huge debt of gratitude is owed to the ten brave PATRIOTS who decided to be a part of this lawsuit. I had dozens more contact me who wanted in.”

The attorney says there are seven causes for the suit to be filed:

  • A violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • A violation of the Freedom of Assembly Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • A violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution (x2)
  • A violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • A violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • A violation of 11 O.S. § 14-101, the Oklahoma Constitution, and other Oklahoma laws

Urbanic added the ordinance is way over the top in its violations of the U.S. Constitution, the Oklahoma Constitution, and Oklahoma law. The attorney listed some of the violations he believed to be contained in Guthrie’s Ordinance:

  • It is legal to drive to the store to buy food for your dog, but it criminalizes driving to church to pray.
  • It is illegal to stand six feet away from people at a church gathering, but it is legal to walk around in a grocery store, likely getting closer than six feet from other people.
  • It is legal to jog on a sidewalk, but it is illegal to stand on a sidewalk, six feet away from someone, and either pray or peacefully protest.
  • It is illegal to drive in a car, by yourself, merely for a leisurely drive.
  • The Ordinance makes it a crime to not wear a “cloth face covering”–that the City of Guthrie does not provide.

List of citizens to join in on the lawsuit:

Angela F. Miller
Donna J. Wilson
Daniel L. Navejas
Heather E. Brown
Bobby J. Lockhart

Audra M. Lockhart
Tammie D. Hulsey

Court documents says the citizens are individuals who reside in Guthrie.

Jackie A. Whitley
Vicki L. Jones
James P. Nunamaker

These citizens are individuals who visit and/or conduct business in Guthrie, according to the suit.

For the complete lawsuit document please click here.

16 Comments on "Group of citizens file federal lawsuit against City of Guthrie"

  1. BRAVO to all of you who filed this suit! The city needs to be held accountable for their communistic, anti-Constitutional “orders”. I for one will stand behind you all the way!This kind of power-hungry BS needs to be stopped, not only in this circumstance, but for future incidents as well. TPTB in Guthrie ALL need to be removed from their positions immediately for their unConstitutional “orders”. BRAVO!!!

  2. I can’t believe you put the almighty dollar before the good of peoples health! The majority of you don’t even live here! If you are worried about church,”as long as 2 are gathererd in my name”. Shame on you selfish people! All the people on the front that are risking their lives to save yours are asking is that you stay home! You’re not even adult enough to do that! Good for you Guthrie officials! Thanks for trying to keep us alive!!!

  3. concerned citizen | April 24, 2020 at 10:26 am | Reply

    Really!? I don’t care about any of this lawsuit except the masks all of you should be wearing one in public. Not for your protection but for your mothers and fathers and and peoples loved ones who have cancer or lung problems. Sound like a bunch of selfish JERKS. Think of others before yourselves.

    • You wear your mask. I won’t. And you do know that selfishness goes 2 ways. Freedom is freedom to choose or not to choose to wear a mask.

      We are protected under the Constitution.

      • Charlene McNally | June 3, 2020 at 3:34 am | Reply

        Amen. Lynn. This is just another Lie and Fraud perpetrated on the American People. People are so deceived wearing a mask DOE NOT keep you from getting the Virus it is actually more harmful for you not right. The problem is People are stupid and do not research for themselves they always believe the FAKE Media as Gospel. People won’t UNITE together for their Rights they just give them up.

  4. How many of you were outraged that abortions are killing more children than COVID -19 I Oklahoma?

    • A sad pathetic grab for attention. This will Cost the city money for an ordinance that will be expired before it makes it court. The attorney is looking for fame and the plaintiffs are people who think COVID is a hoax.

  5. Would you all feel the same if you were the cause of a loved one dying because you didn’t wear a mask and didn’t stay home. What if you were the one that died from Covid-19.
    It’s so sad to have so many self centered people in our city, state and country.

  6. John Cochran | April 24, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Reply

    These people are obviously Trump supporters as no other class of people have that few brain cells. This is so beneath any realm of intelligence that it hard to digest the total lack of connecting synapses in the brains of these, …. ah, people. Why not settle out of court and just give these idiots a couple bottles of Lysol and a hypodermic needle? It will either make them deathly ill or kill them outright. Anyway around it I just don’t see a down side here.

  7. I have been embarrassed by Oklahoma in the past but this is on the top of the list! It is obvious that none of you have had a spouse, Mom, Dad, child, or any loved one who has lost there life because of this it’s obvious sign of ignorance! Money is more important than human life I didn’t see you filling a law suit because the government gave you money! You took it upon yourself to make Oklahoma people look ignorant and you should be ashamed I pray that you don’t reap what you sow!

  8. James Fitzpatrick | April 25, 2020 at 8:53 am | Reply

    we the people need to stand up against these violations , if your so afraid of getting sick then by all means stay home wear a bag over your head cower in place or what ever you think you need to do but you have no right to tell us how to live our lives or run our business that is unacceptable

  9. I love this lawsuit Guthrie is nothing but money hungry I had to move away from Guthrie I hated it there every time I turned around police trying to write me a ticket or something anything they could just to get money they need to be sued Taste of their own medicine I believe the only reason why they’re saying we have to wear face masks and they don’t provide them is just so they can make money off of people thank you to you guys who are suing them

  10. This is not religious persecution. No one is stopping anyone from praying. Pray any time you want. If your god is so powerful, it should not make any difference. If god’s perfect will can never thwarted, then it can not be undone by any man. Christians love to feel persecuted, as ancient scripture states that (1) you will be persecuted and (2) if you are persecuted you are somehow blessed. How can you go wrong. That way if anyone criticizes anything you are saying or doing, you automatically “win”. Sounds like the perfect way to always go unchecked in your behavior. But why should anyone be surprised. This is the same type of response you get when you challenge the existence of their deity. If their prayers come true the god answered them. If they do not come true that god is mysterious. You need to get a grip on reality and stop believing that saying incantations is an actual solution. Sending smoke up to the heavens, fire, the devil, god lives in the sky, animal and human sacrifices, it should be obvious to all that this is ancient superstitions. Further, our founding fathers knew nothing of germ theory and social distancing. FACT: A germ/superbug is one of the most likely/known events that could ultimately wipe out a good portion of the human race; so, if anything this is good practice. Here’s a dose of capitalism for you: Business models come and go and change with the times. Find a new opportunity. Most small businesses, I notice, do not keep regular and/or best practice business hours and close their retail establishments on the known busiest days, i.e., Sunday is a weekend the last time I checked.

  11. Interesting. So many hate posts. I support the “right to choose”. I’m surprised by those that don’t.

  12. The right to chose is your right if you are not harming others. Can you be sure in this time of an active virus that you are not? I’m all for the right to chose but what if your choice could “kill” someone else? Is a life so unimportant to you? Like it or not during this virus YOU are your brothers & sisters keeper. Wearing a face mask is a small price to pay for a human life.

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