Case: Duval Ranching Co. v. Glickman

3:95-cv-00038 | U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada

Filed Date: Jan. 20, 1995

Closed Date: 2000

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 20, 1995, plaintiffs, ranchers near Humboldt National Forest in Elko County, Nevada, filed this complaint in the District of Nevada against the United States, United States Forest Service, and individual federal officers. The complaint is unavailable, but according to the order granting summary judgment, the plaintiffs alleged violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), Bivens, and state law. Specifica…

On January 20, 1995, plaintiffs, ranchers near Humboldt National Forest in Elko County, Nevada, filed this complaint in the District of Nevada against the United States, United States Forest Service, and individual federal officers. The complaint is unavailable, but according to the order granting summary judgment, the plaintiffs alleged violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), Bivens, and state law. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that various government officials and the Forest Service interfered with their rights in irrigation ditches by carrying water out of the national forest and onto the ranchers' private land. The case was assigned to Judge Edward C. Reed, Jr.

On May 26, 1995, the plaintiffs filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction. On November 17, 1995, the court denied the preliminary injunction, holding that: (1) even assuming that the ranchers had valid ditch rights and rights-of-way constituting vested property rights, these rights-of-way were subject to reasonable regulation by the Forest Service so long as they ran across Forest Service land; and (2) the ranchers were first required to proceed as far as possible within the Forest Service's own administrative structure. 909 F. Supp. 759 (D. Nev. 1995).

Throughout the summer of 1996, the parties disputed over the plaintiffs' choice of counsel, Gary Woodbury, the district attorney for Elko County, Nevada. The plaintiffs' request that Mr. Woodbury represent them was denied, 930 F. Supp. 467 (D. Nev. 1996), and subsequently overruled, 930 F. Supp. 469 (D. Nev. 1996). Judge Edward C. Reed, Jr., held that, although such representation was not prohibited by Nevada law, the district attorney was advised to exercise great vigilance to ensure that his private clients received the same degree of independent professional advice they would receive from attorney without any connections to, responsibility for, or contact with the county or its commissioners.

Defendants moved for summary judgment soon after, on August, 28, 1996. Several months later, on March 14, 1997, Judge Edward C. Reed, Jr., granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissed the plaintiff's claims. While commiserating with the ranchers, stating that they "must truly contend with a landowning leviathan," Judge Reed dismissed the plaintiffs' claims on jurisdictional and procedural grounds. Judge Reed held, among other things, that (1) a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether exhaustion of administrative remedies had occurred; (2) the ranchers had standing to assert claims of interference with water rights and rights of way, and to assert Clean Water Act (CWA) claim; however, the ranchers lacked standing to assert a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) violation; (3) the United States had sovereign immunity which barred claims under APA requiring adjudication of water rights ownership; (4) plaintiffs could not establish a Bivens claim without identifying individuals who allegedly violated their civil rights; (5) plaintiffs had no due process right to be heard before Forest Service infringed on their alleged property rights. March 14, 1997, 965 F. Supp. 1427 (D. Nev. 1997).

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Mary Kate Sickel (10/25/2018)

People


Judge(s)

Reed, Edward Cornelius Jr. (Nevada)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Buxton, Susan E. (Idaho)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bartell, Stephan G. (District of Columbia)

Douthit, Claire E. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Shirley (Nevada)

Judge(s)

Reed, Edward Cornelius Jr. (Nevada)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Buxton, Susan E. (Idaho)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bartell, Stephan G. (District of Columbia)

Douthit, Claire E. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Shirley (Nevada)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:95-cv-00038

Docket

Nov. 2, 2000

Nov. 2, 2000

Docket
40

3:95-cv-00038

Order

909 F.Supp. 759

Nov. 17, 1995

Nov. 17, 1995

Order/Opinion
50

3:95-cv-00038

Minute Order in Chamber

930 F.Supp. 467

May 31, 1996

May 31, 1996

Order/Opinion
61

3:95-cv-00038

Order

930 F.Supp. 469

June 7, 1996

June 7, 1996

Order/Opinion
85

3:95-cv-00038

Opinion

965 F.Supp. 1427

March 14, 1997

March 14, 1997

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 5, 2022, 3:04 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Nevada

Case Type(s):

Environmental Justice

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 20, 1995

Closing Date: 2000

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Private ranchers in Nevada.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

United States Forest Service, Federal

Secretary of Agriculture, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. § 1319 et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Groundwater

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit