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Okla. Attorney Challenges Citizen Lawsuit Change (Oct 06, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma City attorney is challenging a law approved by the Legislature last session that makes it more difficult for citizens to file lawsuits to stop government wrongdoing.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent filed a lawsuit Thursday in the Oklahoma Supreme Court seeking to stop the law from taking effect Nov. 1.

Under the law, the number of signatures required for so-called "qui tam" lawsuits, or filings by a group of citizens to stop a questionable government action, would change from 10 taxpayers to 100 registered voters.

Fent says the law will make it more difficult for taxpayers to stop government corruption, but Senate author Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher, says the increase will make it more difficult for a small group of disgruntled citizens to stop a government project.


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