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» California’s Moratorium on Suction Dredging is Being Contested in the Third Appellate Court
Dave Mack

“The Third Appellate District of California has agreed to consider our federal preemption argument in the Brandon Rinehart case. Here is some background information and links to the important briefs regarding this case”

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I am very excited to announce that the Third Appellate District of California has agreed to consider our federal preemption argument in the Brandon Rinehart case. Many of you will recall that Brandon was cited last year for operating a suction dredge in California without a permit. Brandon hired our attorney, James Buchal, to defend against the criminal citation.  Brandon’s defense was largely based upon our federal preemption argument in San Bernardino Superior Court that the State does not have the authority to prohibit suction dredging, and that their refusal to issue a permit amounted to a prohibition.  The judge in that case rejected the preemption argument on the presumption that we would appeal to the Appellate Court.

Now that the Appellate Court will consider federal preemption, we are on a fast track to get this very important issue decided.  James Buchal did a fantastic job in presenting opening arguments. You can find all of the arguments in the links below. I encourage you guys to read them, because they are very enlightening, not only in our legal theories, but also what we are up against in the State of California, and with anti-mining activists.  This federal preemption battle is perhaps the most important legal challenge we have ever mounted on behalf of small-scale miners.  Several other mining associations are contributing to the legal costs.

In the event that we win the federal preemption argument, my guess is that suction dredge permits will again immediately be available in California.  This, because the Appellate Court will have ruled that we can dredge if California fails to issue permits. It is impossible to predict how long it will take the Court to issue a Decision. But it is possible it could happen before this next season. Note:  This case was decided in our favor.  the Decision can be found at the bottom link below:

The California Supreme Court has since agreed to Review the Third Appellate’s Decision. Go to this page for updated information.

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