Latest Dredging Legal News MAY 28th, 2015
We would like to say thanks once again to all of you who have stuck with us through the years, especially the last SIX PLUS YEARS fighting in the courts of California to restore our right to dredge and prospect on Federal Mining Claims. What follows is an update of where we stand legally and what happens next on June 23rd in the combined cases being heard in San Bernardino. Come to court in support if you can. If you can’t be there in person, support us online. We can’t win anything without the support of thousands of individuals. You have made this happen by consistently contributing over the years. THANK YOU!
We are winning and plan on finishing strong! Be part of the winning team! If you haven’t renewed your membership lately, you can do so on our new website:
We will be at the GPAA Gold and Treasure show this weekend in Charlotte, NC. Thanks again to GPAA for their steadfast support of PLP through this long legal battle. Come out to the Gold Show Saturday and Sunday, May 30th and 31st in Charlotte and say hello! We would like to meet you and of course say “Hi” to old friends. Let us know what is happening in your neck of the woods.
UPBEAT Update for PLP Members
As the PLP membership has already been informed, on January 12, 2015, the Honorable Gilbert G. Ochoa, Judge of the Superior Court, San Bernardino County, issued a Ruling which, in effect, granted PLP’s motions for summary adjudication regarding Federal preemption as to the State’s prohibition on suction dredge mining and the 2012 Suction Dredge Mining Regulations (“2012 Regulations”) promulgated thereunder. On May 1, 2015, Judge Ochoa entered an order (nunc pro tunc) formalizing the Court’s granting of summary adjudication, as a matter of law, regarding Federal preemption as to the prohibition on suction dredge mining, and the 2012 Regulations.
The end result of the Court’s Ruling and Order is that California Fish & Game Code § 5653.1, and the 2012 Regulations promulgated thereunder by the Department of Fish & Wildlife (“DF&W”,) are declared unconstitutional, as being preempted by the Federal mining laws. As the Court explained:
“…the State’s extraordinary scheme of requiring permits and then refusing to issue them whether and/or being unable to issue permits for years, stands “as an obstacle to the accomplishment of the full purposes and objectives of Congress” under Granite Rock and a de facto ban.”
Based upon the Court’s Ruling and Order, on May 18, 2015, PLP filed a motion, along with The New 49’ers, for an injunction against DF&W from:
1.Enforcing the provisions of the Fish & Wildlife Code prohibiting suction dredge mining in the rivers, streams, and waterways of California without a permit, and possessing a suction dredge near closed waterways;
2.Enjoining the enforcement of the 2012 Regulations promulgated pursuant to § 5653.1 of the Fish & Game Code; and
3.Mandating the development of a permit program and regulations that do not stand as an obstacle to the full purposes and objectives of the Federal mining laws.
In its motion for an injunction, PLP, among numerous other matters, asserted that the injunction should be granted because DF&W is continuing to violate the rights of the Miners by prohibiting suction dredge mining, and making the Court’s grant of summary adjudication ineffectual. Because of this, the Miners are suffering irreparable injury and harm, including, arrests, threats of arrest, and jail time, as well as substantial monetary loss. PLP stated to the Court:
“What the Miners now seek is the practical mechanism by which this Court’s Ruling and Order is implemented in reality, so that the purpose and objectives of the Federal mining laws can again become a living and practical presence in their lives. Specifically, the Miners ask this Court for the customary remedy in such circumstances; an injunction that is in substance permanent until it might be modified by the Court when and if DF&W devises a lawful and functioning permitting program.”
PLP is hopeful that the Court will grant their requested injunction against DF&W. A hearing on PLP’s motion for the injunction will take place at 8:30 a.m., on June 23, 2015, or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard, in the courtroom of the Honorable Gilbert G. Ochoa, Department S36J, located at 247 West Third Street, San Bernardino, CA 92415-0210.
PLP: FIGHTING TO “TAKE IT BACK AND KEEP IT” FOR TWENTY-FIVE YEARS!
-Your Board of Directors