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Update on California suction gold dredging court cases

July 12, 2017

Public Lands for the People ( sent out an update to the ongoing suction gold dredging court cases in Judge Ochoa's court in San Bernardino, California.

Unfortunately, Judge Ochoa stated he still unprepared to rule on the merits of the case.

From Attorney James Buchal:

This morning I appeared before Judge Ochoa in San Bernardino Superior Court, for a hearing at which four issues were up for decision: (1) whether the Court should revise his summary adjudication ruling on federal preemption in light of the California Supreme Court decision; (2) whether the California Department of Fish and Game violated the California Environmental Quality Act and Administrative Procedure Act in issuing the 2012 regulations; (3) whether the Legislature violated the “one subject” rule in the California Constitution when it passed the second two bills concerning the California moratorium; and (4) whether takings claims for the regulatory taking of unpatented mining claims are impossible because the regulation makes all discoveries no longer valuable.

Unfortunately, the Judge announced that he was sorry for dragging us all to San Bernardino, but he was not ready to proceed on any of the motions. He proposed rescheduling on July 24th. Unfortunately, I will be out of the country on that date, and will be undergoing a medical procedure. He then said August was not a good month for him, which would push any re-argument into September.

As some of you may know, there is some consensus to attempt to delay the first and second issue to see whether the U.S. Supreme Court will grant the petition for review in the Rinehardt case, but matters (3) and (4) can and should be decided as soon as possible. There was some discussion with the Judge in which he indicated that he was not prepared to wait for possible U.S. Supreme Court developments in making decisions in his Court.

On that basis, my best judgment was to proceed with a telephonic hearing on July 25th (it will be at 10:00 a.m.), rather than suffer further delay into late September for an in-person hearing.

James L. Buchal

Murphy & Buchal LLP

3425 SE Yamhill Street, Suite 100

Portland, OR 97214

Phone: 503-227-1011     Fax: 503-573-1939

We will continue to post updates on the situation when available.

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