North Dakota officials seek dismissal of road closure suit
By BLAKE NICHOLSON
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota officials have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed over the five-month closure of a section of state Highway 1806 during the large protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Attorneys for state officials including Gov. Doug Burgum and Morton County say the closure was warranted because of what they described as "mayhem" caused by pipeline protesters in 2016 and early 2017.
The lawsuit filed by two members of the Standing Rock Sioux and a reservation priest says the closure restricted travel and commerce and violated people's rights to free speech and religious exercise. It seeks unspecified monetary damages.
TigerSwan, a company that oversaw security for the pipeline developer, asked to be dismissed as a defendant in the case, saying it had nothing to do with the decision to close the highway.
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