The Latest: Prosecutor wants protesters to pay court costs

EnergyAssociated Press

The Latest on the protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

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A North Dakota prosecutor wants people arrested for protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline to reimburse the state for the costs of their court-appointed attorneys.

Ladd Erickson says the protests have created an unprecedented burden for the state's court system. Erickson says it would be up to a judge in each case to determine if attorney costs should be recouped.

Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents Executive Director H. Jean Delaney says North Dakota law allows the court to seek reimbursement for court-appointed attorneys.

The commission has accepted 287 protest-related cases that are being handled by 82 defense attorneys. She says her group also is seeking $670,000 from the Legislature to help cover the costs of protest-related cases.

Erickson says the protests already have cost the state about $17 million.


11:35 a.m.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple says he and Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault have met to discuss reducing tensions between law enforcement officers and Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents.

The pipeline is stalled while developer Energy Transfer Partners and the Army battle in court over permission to cross under the Missouri River. Opponents who've protested for months have been leaving their main camp in southern North Dakota.

Dalrymple says only about 300 remain in the main camp, and Archambault told him in a Monday meeting that it could be vacated by Jan. 1. Other protesters remain in another camp nearby.

Dalrymple says an effort will be made to inspect and reopen a highway bridge in the camp area that's been closed since being damaged by fire in late October.