November _____, 2014


Supreme Court of California
350 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-4797

Re:       People v. Rinehart, Third Appellate District, Case No. C074662

Response to the People’s Request for Depublication

To the Honorable Tani Goree Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California, and to the Honorable Associate Justices of the California Supreme Court:  

Pursuant to California Rule of Court 8.1125(b), I write to request that the Court deny the People’s request to depublish the opinion issued in People v. Rinehart, Third Appellate District Case No. C074662, 230 Cal. App.4th 419 (September 23, 2014).

As a suction dredge miner in the State of California, I have been denied my federal statutory right to explore and develop mineral claims on federal land in the State of California since 2009.  Ever since the first statute stopping the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s longstanding permit program, the mining community has been engaged in civil litigation to establish that the State may not arbitrarily single out suction dredging for precious metals from all other suction dredging and other dredging activities, and refuse to issue any permits whatsoever.  But no judge in any of the multiple civil cases has reached the merits of this claim, despite multiple motions and requests to do so.

Mr. Rinehart, at great personal cost, undertook to get the criminal justice system to demonstrate that the State’s regulatory power does not extend to a blanket prohibition that frustrates mineral development on federal land.  The civil lawsuits now remain before the San Bernardino County Superior Court.  There are settlement negotiations underway that could lead to the resumption of permit issuance.  If the opinion is depublished, it will embolden the opponents of suction dredge mining who seek a permanent ban, and threaten to cause those settlement negotiations into pointless relitigation of the question.

It is worth noting that the State itself, in a joint motion seeking calendar preference before the Court of Appeal, acknowledged that the Rinehart opinion would “provide important guidance to the Superior Court in the coordinated proceedings”.  Now that the case has come out confirming the position of the miners, by its request the State seeks to prevent the miners from even citing it to the Superior Court.  This is unjust.

The Rinehart opinion meets the standards of publication because even though it addresses a particularly unique misuse of legislative authority to destroy a long-standing permit program, and applied clear federal and state precedents, it clarifies an issue of continuing public interest, and explains longstanding rules of federal supremacy in the mining context so that all parties can fashion a reasonable and workable permit program.

Please deny the State’s request for depublication, and thank you for your consideration of this request.



(Name and Address)




I, __________________________, declare:

I am a resident of the State of _____________________ and am over the age of 18 years, and not a party to the above action.  My address is ________________________________________________________.

On November ______, 2014, I served the attached letter requesting publication in this action by placing true copies thereof in sealed envelopes and mailing them by First Class mail, postage prepaid, addressed to:

Matthew K. Carr
Deputy District Attorney
Plumas County District Attorney
520 Main Street, Room 404
Quincy, CA 95971
Marc N. Melnick
Deputy District Attorney
Office of the Attorney General
1515 Clay Street, Suite 2000
Oakland, CA 94612
Clerk of the Court
Plumas County Superior Court
520 Main Street, Room 104
Quincy, CA 95971
Jonathan Evans
Center for Biological Diversity
351 California Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94104
Lynne Saxton
Saxton & Associates
912 Cole Street, Suite 140
San Francisco, CA 94117
Damien Schiff
Jonathan Wood
Pacific Legal Foundation
930 G Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
James Buchal
Murphy & Buchal LLP
3425 SE Yamhill Street,#100
Portland, OR 97214
Clerk of the Court
Third Appellate District
914 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.  Executed on November ______, at the following location: _________.

_________________________________ (Signature and Address)