CA denies small miners relief against the moratorium on dredging

We wanted to share James Buchal’s letter he just went public on. Buchal is one of two attorney’s involved in the Ochoa case, the other is David Young whom PLP has had for years.

Before we post the letter, we’d like to state this is a sad day and one cannot feel that “someone got to Ochoa”. His decision was made prior to the court proceedings today and not one enviro group was there so they obviously knew how he was going to rule in advance.

Yes, we (WMA, New 49’ers, AMRA and PLP) have already begun to formulate the next plan of action. An immediate appeal will be first.

Folks, what we are witnessing is pure tyranny. When courts disregard law, case precedence and science without giving the people a chance to even rebut the case, you have tyranny. I know a lot of you are thinking about “protests”, “dredge in’s”, “civil suits”, “class action suits”, “rural community uprisings/blocking the DFG from enforcement”, and so on. Believe us, we all are too. We will keep you informed as always and please share this post with every single miner in the country. We MUST all stand together and fight this.

We need to keep clear heads here and all is not lost. It certainly makes Brandon Rinehart’s CA Supreme Court case much, much more important in the big picture and one that we all need to financially support.

Join in this fight, join AMRA, WMA, New 49’ers or PLP, or simply send a check straight to James Buchal, but get in this fight and if you don’t, then don’t complain when it is gone. We are working on a way everyone can pitch in a few bucks, because we must fight this tooth and nail……or witness the destruction of not just small mining, but the very foundation of our country.

Mr. Buchals letter:

This morning we appeared before Judge Ochoa for the hearing on our motion for an injunction. Immediately prior to the hearing, the Judge’s clerk handed out a very short tentative ruling denying our motion for an injunction on the basis that miners were not suffering any irreparable injury, and the balance of factors before him did not weigh in favor of an injunction. The first rationale for denying an injunction is contrary to all available law, and the second was not explained enough to be comprehensible. The ruling was less than a page long.

When the Judge assumed the bench, he appeared to be in a bad mood and asked if we wished to argue the motion, or accept the tentative. When I said I wished to argue, he informed me I had five minutes to do so. I noted that The New 49’ers, Inc. plaintiffs were not bound by his earlier ruling denying an injunction in the Kimble case, and that all the ongoing arrests, seizures and losses of the opportunity to mine constituted irreparable injury under every case available and the governing Code of Civil Procedure.

The Judge responded by stating that most of the mining was recreational, to which I responded that the plaintiffs standing before him constituted professional miners locked out of their profession since 2009. I attempted to argue further and was told my time was up. Mr. Young followed by reminding the Judge that he had found a violation of the constitutional rights of the miners, and that the continuing invasion of those rights was per se irreparable. The Judge asked the Department what they thought about that, and the State offered no more, in substance, than “we disagree”. The Judge announced that the tentative ruling would become final.

The Judge announced that he wished to set a trial date to bring this, his longest CEQA case, to a close, and proposed a trial date of January 20, 2016. The Department’s attorney objected, claiming that the remaining takings claims would take weeks and weeks to try. I objected that we had 24 claims at issue with roughly a dozen clients, and we could probably put on our case in a week; if the Judge certified a class action, it would be appropriate to devise some sort of expedited damage claim proceeding. The Judge directed the parties to work out a trial date.

I reminded the Judge that he had never signed the order sought by the Department which would bar the parties to the consolidated actions, as well as me personally and any clients who might wish to hire me, from filing for relief from the ongoing enforcement actions in Siskiyou County. The Judge indicated that he had no record of receiving the State’s proposed order, my response, or for that matter another previously-submitted order scheduling briefing on the CEQA and other record-based claims further proceedings, another remarkable development. I provided him with copies of the documents, and the Judge signed the orders, one of which arguably bars me from initiating any new suction dredging actions for any client in Siskiyou County. Like the Court’s denial of the injunction, I cannot see that this order has any basis in law.

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One thought on “CA denies small miners relief against the moratorium on dredging”

  1. So, we don’t have a legal system OR a justice system in America anymore? I doubt this is what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution. Sad, sad day…

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