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Case Name Duval Ranching Co. v. Glickman EJ-NV-0001
Docket / Court CV-N-95-38-ECR ( D. Nev. )
State/Territory Nevada
Case Type(s) Environmental Justice
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 ... read more >
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 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.

Mary Kate Sickel - 10/25/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
General
Groundwater
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. § 1319 et seq.
Defendant(s) Secretary of Agriculture
United States Forest Service
Plaintiff Description Private ranchers in Nevada.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filing Year 1995
Case Closing Year 2000
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection

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