Judge bars group from selling tags

Thursday, August 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, Okla.-A state judge has temporarily barred a group from claiming to be the rightful government of the Cherokee Nation and banned the group's issuance of car tags and coins.

In a written order filed Thursday in Cherokee County District Court, Judge Bruce Sewell granted a temporary injunction sought by the Tahlequah-based Cherokee Nation against a separate Cherokee group led by Robin Mayes and Art Nave.

Mayes and Nave are co-chairs of a group claiming they, not the Tahlequah-based tribe, are entitled to federal recognition.

Sewell said Mayes and Nave have no greater authority than any other U.S. citizens to claim to be "the" Cherokee Nation.

"The court finds by clear and convincing evidence that these defendants can show no proof whatsoever entitling them to assert representative capacity as 'the' Cherokee Nation," Sewell wrote.

But the judge said he would conduct a hearing Sept. 19 to consider other motions by Mayes and Nave, who represented themselves in recent court appearances.

The group sold auto tags to Cherokees in Tahlequah and had planned to open other offices, Nave had said.

In addition to temporarily banning the group's issuance of car tags and coins, Sewell prohibited them from using the Cherokee seal or similar emblems.

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced it does not recognize the group.