Sunday, August 17, 2014

Protestants' side excluded from Court on San Augustin Oral Arguments

Note:  It would be good if as many protestants as possible attended the oral arguments scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 21 at the Albuquerque Court of Appeals, 2211 Tucker NE in Albuquerque. 

From: R. Bruce Frederick, Staff Attorney
New Mexico Environmental Law Center

A couple of significant things have happened to which I've had to quickly respond. As you know, the Court asked the parties to file supplemental briefs on the issue of whether the “new” application filed by the Ranch makes the 2007 application and the Ranch’s appeal “moot.” An appeal or law suit becomes “moot” when there is no longer any controversy among the parties.

In our supplemental brief, we argued that the “new” application did not remove the controversy, because the “new” application is in all material respects the same as the old application. The OSE took the position that the appeal is moot; the Ranch argued that the appeal would become moot if the OSE accepted its “new” application.

The Court responded that it did not find the supplemental briefs altogether helpful, and it ordered oral argument on August 21 on seven topics (see attached order). The Court inexplicably excluded us from participating in the oral argument, although it allowed us to attend (it’s open court after all). I filed an objection and request for reconsideration (attached), asking the Court to allow us to participate, especially because the seven topics went right to the merits of the appeal.

The Court has not yet responded, but the Ranch filed another supplemental brief informing the Court that the Ranch has abandoned its “old” application. This strongly implies that the Ranch and the State Engineer have a private deal of some kind. Call if you have questions about this.

We’re still waiting for the Court to respond. If it dismisses the appeal, we can apply to the NM Supreme Court for review. The Supreme Court does not have to review our case, but we can make a good showing that they should. There are other possibilities that we can discuss.

So, as of now: Oral argument is still scheduled for August 21, and people should come if they can to show support. However, as it stands, the Court has excluded me from presenting any argument on your behalf. I will be there regardless.

I will let you know as soon as I hear anything else.

R. Bruce Frederick, Staff Attorney
New Mexico Environmental Law Center
1405 Luisa Street, Suite 5
Santa Fe, NM 87501

1 comment:

Lif Strand said...

Albuquerque Court of Appeals. Pamela B. Minzer Law Center,
2211 Tucker N.E.
Albuquerque, N.M. 87106

Park in the L parking lot. Take the 225 exit off I-25 to Lomas Blvd N.E. Turn left off Lomas to University the next right off University should be Tucker Ave. N.E. the Law Center will be on the Left just past Camio Servicio Rd.