Litigation Virgin no More, and Good News on Parks for the Next Shutdown

My company has been sued a few times for slip and fall type stuff but I have never in my life been the plaintiff in a legal action.  As is perhaps appropriate given my political leanings, my first ever suit was against the the Federal government, specifically against the Forest Service seeking an injunction against their closure of the campgrounds we operate in the recent shutdown.

Unfortunately, the case reached the court on the day the shutdown lifted, but the judge was still very helpful in giving the Forest Service a swift kick in the butt to hurry them along so they didn't drag their feet reopening us.,

I had feared that we would lose the opportunity to set a precedent.  Since the shutdown was over I though the Court might consider this issue moot.  But apparently one can continue with such litigation to set a precedent if there is reason to think the circumstances will recur.  And the government attorney was kind enough to make a statement right in the court transcript (granted in context of a different argument) that this same shutdown situation is likely to reoccur as soon as early next year.

The good news is that we appear to have an argument that the Court is willing to entertain.  In fact, the statement below was a statement by the judge in the hearing (it's from the hearing transcript and Q&A with the government attorney and not from any official opinion).  It is not in any way binding but it gives us some confidence to try to proceed to get a ruling on the legality of our closure now, so we have it in our pocket for next time.  Here is the Court's statement, addressing the government attorney:

Well, the basic problem is that the Forest Service never should have closed these that were permitted properties.  And they in fact violated the agreement they had with these plaintiffs in doing so without necessity and determining they had a right to do so, which I don't think they did....

[the Forest Service has] nothing to do with the administration and management of the campgrounds other than the inspections at any given time.

So, what they have done is unreasonably close these parks, preventing the concessioners who pay a premium in order to get this permit and lease the property under the requirements in this permit -- and the Forest Service was very ill-advised to make the decision to close these grounds under these circumstances, where you have given up the maintenance and administration of these campsites.

I understand the overall obligation for public safety, but you have delegated that to private entities.  And you took it away when it wasn't costing you a dollar to leave it as was.  And in fact, that's where  we get into the restraint of trade and the fact that there are losses which are most likely uncompensatable.

 

By the way the case was National Forest Recreation Association et. al. vs. Tom Tidwell.  My company, among others, was al.

 

  • LarryGross

    There was strong sentiment among conservatives to preserve it . there are a number of books written that you might read as I have.

    it's _not_ zombifying when millions of people visit and explore, hike, camp and in general actively enjoy both pass and active recreation of things kept in their natural condition instead of ruined by for-profit predation. You can bet all the animals in Yellowstone would be gone - sold to high bidder hunters.. by now if it was privately owned. that the Yellowstone river would look more like Niagara... with a huge hydro dam... and assorted industries... that used the electricity.

    you just do not understand... you have different values.. that's fine.. but you are definitely outnumbered.

  • marque2

    Cute, but you have to find a case where the government wants to be sued. I don't think they want to be sued over the shutdown.

    and this sue and settle the EPA does has got to be illegal or unconstitutional or something. EPA is just grabbing powers never authorized to it.

  • LarryGross

    I already have... and it's clear that either you have not or you just dismiss the issues that let to being preserved rather than sold to private interests.

  • LarryGross

    more ignorance guy. they manage the ENTIRE FOREST. they actually survey all of it and sell timber to private timber companies... Most of the Forests have extensive road and trails that are maintained.

    It's becoming clear that you've never set foot in a national forest... nor have ever looked at maps of National Forests.

  • Ron H.

    "So baby when we call you we can call you Al?"

    Only if you're Betty.

  • Not Sure

    "I swear I don't see questions.. "

    If you don't see the questions (they're there right now, and have been since I posted them), this has probably been a waste of time.

    "but it would seem to me - that being a concessionaire to a Federal Campground..."

    If you're talking about the difference bewtween a concessionaire and the federal government running running a campground, what's KOA got to do with the discussion?

  • Not Sure

    "People that like Govt campgrounds don't want to camp in sight of an interstate with road noise apparent 24/7. People in big rigs don't care.. they're inside with the air cond and TV on."

    But you say you use both?

    "I've camped at a lot of campgrounds - hundreds - from DOI, to BLA to Army Corp, FS, state, local and private and in general the private campgrounds are far more expensive."
    Are you special, or what?

  • LarryGross

    yes... we take six week or longer trips and use the KOA types on the way out and back - like we'd use a motel - not for the experience.

    nothing special... just done a lot of camping and familiar with the wide variety of camping available both private and public.

  • LarryGross

    because KOAs are like the govt in terms of having to pay for and maintain all the infrastructure not just the operations - which is generally what concessionaires do as opposed to actually maintaining and operating the whole operation.

    if you have questions - be explicit..I'm more than willing to answer but if that's not your intent any, I understand also.

  • marque2

    The Daily Kos guide to National parks.

    I don't think you have read up much about the park. Just your usual bloviating.

    And your issues are just made up. Business always bad. Government always good. It getting tiresome.

  • marque2

    You are ignorant. - Yeah they manage the entire forest the way you manage your entire house. Now how often do you clean the kitchen vs how often do you hang out in the attic crawl space? Which is bigger? In most houses the Attic crawl space is about oh 6x bigger than the kitchen?

    The key thing is forests tend to manage themselves, so only the intersection of human activity and forests are what really has to be managed. And when the park service tries to manage more it can be disastrous.

  • LarryGross

    business is NOT bad and LOTS of businesses do a LOT of business in Parks and Forests and I totally support that including timbering, mining and tourism, outfitting, etc...

    but your ideological anti-govt viewpoints are out of whack and out of touch with most ordinary people who see the balance and want both protection AND business.

  • LarryGross

    you show that you do not know. Do you know how much timber is cut from National FOrests?

    do you know how many roads are maintained for access and timbering and mining?

    I have no clue when you say the Park Service in the same paragraph with National Forests.

    do you know they are different with different management plans?

    The Park Service is DOI and they have been managing National Parks since the creation of Yellowstone and I've yet to see any disasters.. what are you referring to?

    this is just more anti-govt nihilism

  • Wrong, dumbfuck.

    Or, more accurately, wrong, dumbfuck, until recently.

    As others have already pointed out, you ignorantly assume that “the majority” (who do not actually exist) vote to have government exercise power as they are currently.

    Thanks to the lawless Obama administration – the most lawless in the history of the country – contract law and statutes are now arbitrarily enforced, and frequently illegally so.

    According to you, that’s just fine, because “the majority” willed it so.

    Total bullshit.

    You truly are a top 5 all-time most ignorant universal organism.

    And your typing skills suck ass, retarded monkey.

  • LarryGross

    STFU idiot.. you fools don't know you head from your butt. basically you are nihilists that the vast majority of people in this country utterly reject.

    typing skills or not - fools like you that hide out in internet caves - go nowhere in the real world - and you know it so this is your consolation.. blathering smack in internet forums.

  • marque2

    Because Arizona wants tourism. If they charged 1000x as much for non residents. - people would stop coming - or they would go to an Indian reservation instead.

    Markets protect people.from things like this - even when government is involved.

  • Fucking brain-dead rodents like you posting filth on the web attempting to justify theft is sickening.

    You assholes want to force everyone into your fucked reality of 20% unemployment and zero healthcare.

    You think you get to make that decision for me and my family?

    News flash: you take shit from me, I take more from you.

    Fuck you, greedy cunt.

  • LarryGross

    Good Lord Mesa! do you teach your kids this language?