The membership removal case of Osage Nation vs. Reta Marie Lintner has been continued to February 2021, mostly in part to COVID-19.
Legal counsel for Lintner, Brad Hilton of the Skiatook-based Hilton Law Office, told ON Associate Judge Lee Stout on Nov. 18 that every member of his law office is currently infected with the COVID-19 virus, including himself. He said his client, Lintner, is currently hospitalized with a non-COVID illness. Plus, documentation that he plans to use for the trial needs to be verified by the National Archives in Fort Worth, Texas. The national archives are currently closed due to the pandemic.
“For the above reasons judge, we just feel like we need a little more time,” Hilton said.
“My client is interested in getting this to trial. She is an older woman and unfortunately, because of the situation, we just think it’s prudent to wait until next year,” he also said.
ON Attorney General Clint Patterson said he had no objections with a continuance of the case.
Stout set the date for the next pre-trial conference for Feb. 17, 2021, at 1:30 p.m.
Osage Nation vs. Reta Marie Lintner
At issue is whether Lintner and her relatives are actually descended from an Osage original allottee, which is required for membership into the Osage Nation. She and her relatives were removed from the membership roll in 2016 after a membership employee claimed they were not descendants.
The two parties have been in litigation for almost three years now, during which time Lintner and her relatives’ Osage benefits have been suspended pending the outcome of her case.
In 2016 a membership office employee discovered discrepancies in Lintner’s file that led them to believe Lintner was not Osage. The AG’s office filed petitions for removal against Lintner and 60 other individuals, which included her relatives.
Lintner claims she is a lineal descendant and the great-granddaughter of Paschal F. Canville, a 1906 original allottee. She claims that Canville, born in 1851, was married to Elizabeth Means and together they had two children, a son named Josiah and a daughter named Lola Clementine Canville Clawson in 1888. Lola married Roy Brown and became Lola Brown, Lintner’s grandmother. Lintner’s legal team has provided affidavits that are more than 100 years old and one is from Canville himself claiming he is Lola’s father.
Prior to 2006, Lintner’s family members were unsuccessful at obtaining Osage membership from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the federal agency that issued Certificate Degrees of Indian Blood, or CDIB cards at the time. The first application for membership was filed by Means in 1907, according to court documents. Additional applications for membership were filed throughout the decades, but it wasn’t until after the new form of Osage government passed in 2006 were they successful.
Lintner’s legal team tried to use DNA to prove their case but the male descendants of Canville refused to submit their DNA for testing, despite the fact it was a non-invasive cheek swab test.