Oklahoma License Plate Lawsuit

In Response to Your Questions…

Posted in All Posts, Updates by Keith on 03/17/2010

After receiving numerous inquiries from the press and others on the topic, I am going to answer this question here in hopes that I will not have to repeat my response for each individual person or outlet who inquires.

Brittany Novotny no longer represents me in the license plate case. Brittany ceased to represent me in this matter (and all other matters) on February 26, 2010. While pursuing the case, Brittany and I had several disagreements over the best strategy under which to pursue the case and I felt that my best interests – and the best interests of the case – would be best represented by retaining the services of other counsel. Brittany is a candidate for public office in a hotly contested race and that puts many demands on her time and applies pressure of other types to her. I did not feel this was the ideal environment for my case to be litigated under.

As such, I instructed her to file a Motion to Dismiss without Prejudice, an action that was announced here with a press release. I am in the process of securing other counsel to continue moving this case forward. I have spoken with a veteran Oklahoma attorney who has extensive experience in civil litigation and has successfully defended free speech in the past. In his 15 or so years of trying cases, he has never lost a case. He has agreed to take my case and we are working out the details of our arrangement now. This process will take several months. The case, when refiled, will most likely be filed in federal court and not in state court. Beyond this, no further information is available and no decisions on strategy have been arrived at. Further updates in the form of press releases and/or statements posted here will be made as information becomes available.

One of the most important things to remember about this case is that it is not just about queer rights. While queer rights are a component of this fight, that is not even the main reason I am fighting this case. This is about the broader cause of freedom of speech and freedom of (and from) religion. The Oklahoma Tax Commission has taken it upon itself to apply their own personal prejudices into a government process which is required by law to be equally available to all Oklahomans. It was discovered that the treatment given to my application for a personalized license plate is part of a larger pattern of abuse and rights violations committed against several Oklahomans. What started out as a legal action to secure a plate has quickly become far more complicated as we uncovered a pattern of abuse on the part of The Oklahoma Tax Commission.

The State of Oklahoma has a long, documented history of attempting to enforce unconstitutional legislation and rules. Just recently, The Oklahoma Supreme Court took the rare step of scolding the legislature for repeatedly attempting to enforce legislation that has been ruled legally invalid, saying in a unanimous decision that they are “…growing weary of admonishing the Legislature for so flagrantly violating the terms of the Oklahoma Constitution.”. As such, abuses such as these cannot be allowed to go unchecked. I am well aware of the responsibility I have in this case and that is why these actions were undertaken, to ensure the integrity of this case was not accidentally compromised.

I have not given up, the case did not fail, I did not lose, the Oklahoma Tax Commission did not win and no one fired anyone else. I still support and endorse Brittany’s attempt to defeat Sally Kern in House District 84 and I would recommend her legal services to friends. At this time, she is just not in a position to be the best advocate for the interests of this case. I hope this answers some of your questions and dispels the myths being perpetrated by a couple of dishonest individuals in the community.

Press Release: Vanity Plate Lawsuit to Be Dismissed, Refiled

Posted in All Posts, Press Releases by Keith on 02/25/2010

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Keith Kimmel, Litigant
P.O. Box 6421
Norman, OK 73070-6421
Ph. 405.795.3800

(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) — Keith Kimmel, the Norman college student who sued The Oklahoma Tax Commission earlier this month, announced that he has instructed his attorney to dismissĀ  the lawsuit against the state agency and promised to re-file it in the future.

In a written statement, Kimmel said: “I have instructed my attorney to file a Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice in this case. The case will be refiled at a future date. I have no further information available at this time, but I will update everyone when more information is available.”