Natrona County Republican Party, Wyoming GOP Agree To Dismiss Lawsuit
The Natrona County Republican Party -- with the agreement with the state GOP -- has asked the Wyoming Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the state GOP violated its party's bylaws at its 2020 convention.
Both sides of the lawsuit filed the stipulated motion to dismiss with prejudice -- meaning it cannot be brought before the court again -- with the Supreme Court last week.
The stipulated motion also stated neither party would seek attorneys' fees or costs from the other party.
Natrona County GOP Chairman Kevin Taheri said, "We do believe the merits of our claim, but we believe it's in the best interest of (us) and the Wyoming GOP to put that behind us."
The Natrona County party has refused to pay dues to the state party, which has caused a reduction in its delegates to the state GOP conventions. Taheri said the county probably will continue to lose that representation as long as it quits paying dues.
Caleb Wilkins, the attorney for the Wyoming GOP, did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The Natrona County party filed the initial notice with the Supreme Court on Aug. 19.
Cheyenne attorney Khale Lenhart was among the two attorneys representing the GOP in this action and said then that subsequent filings would echo previous arguments in a similar lawsuit dismissed in June by the Laramie County District Court,
The previous lawsuit asserted that the state party violated its own bylaws at the 2020 convention, which was held on two dates.
Before that, the bylaws said that any amendments to those bylaws required passage by a majority of those elected to the state convention, according to the Natrona GOP's complaint filed on Nov. 12, 2020.
Because the state convention passed the bylaw amendments incorrectly, they are null and void, according to Roberts Rules of Order, according to the Natrona County Republican Party's complaint.
However, the state party through its attorneys said in its Jan. 12 response to the previous litigation:
- The courts historically have stayed away from dealing with intra-political-party disputes.
- This dispute is about the interpretation of a party's bylaws, and isn't something that the Supreme Court can do anything about.
- The Natrona County Republican Party is not an entity that has the capacity to sue.
- The Natrona County Republican Party "sat on its hands" at the 2020 convention and didn't respond in a timely fashion with the options available under Robert's Rules of Order.
And at that time, the convention chairman planned to entertain a notion to ratify the 2020 bylaws at the May 2022 convention.
The latter event happened, which made the previous lawsuit moot.