Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Groundbreaking Legal Decision Could Give Wild Horses Their Day in Court

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Judge Rejects Interior Department's Motion to Dismiss Suit Over Twin Peaks Roundup 

In a decision that may have far-reaching implications, Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. of the United States District Court, Eastern District of California, rejected the U.S. Department of Interior’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the roundup and removal of nearly 1,579 wild horses and 159 burros from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) in northeastern California last year.

Judge England also ruled that the plaintiffs – In Defense of Animals (IDA), DreamCatcher Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary, local resident and wild horse enthusiast Linda Hay
and ecologist Chad Hanson, Ph.D.– have standing to challenge the action and that the case is not moot, despite the fact that the roundup has already taken place. In past wild horse roundup litigation, courts have dismissed claims as moot because the roundups had already ended. This has prevented the actual merits of the cases from being heard or ruled upon.

Congratulations to pro bono, environmental attorney Rachel Fazio and all of the plaintiffs for this big step forward in the Twin Peaks lawsuit.
More information about the court's ruling is available: IDA press release, AP news article and the Courthouse News Service article.   Read MORE...

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