United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division
MURPHY COMPANY, an Oregon Corporation; and MURPHY TIMBER INVESTMENTS, LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, Plaintiffs,
DONALD J. TRUMP, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America; RYAN ZINKE, in his official capacity as Secretary of Interior; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR; and U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, Defendants, SODA MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS COUNCIL, KLAMATH-SISKIYOU WILDLANDS CENTER, OREGON WILD, and WILDERNESS SOCIETY, Intervenor-Defendants.
OPINION & ORDER
D. CLARKE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
and Federal Defendants move to continue the stay in this
matter, originally issued in June 2017 and twice extended, in
order to allow for Presidential action on the Secretary of
the Interior's review and recommendations of the
Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument's designation under
the 1906 Antiquities Act. Intervenor-Defendants object to the
stay request. For the reasons below, the Court declines to
continue the stay, and Plaintiffs' and Federal
Defendants' motion (#29) is DENIED.
filed this action on February 17, 2017. Plaintiffs'
action challenges Presidential Proclamation No. 9564, 82 Fed.
Reg. 6, 145 (Jan. 12, 2017). Proclamation No. 9564 expanded
the boundaries of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (the
"Monument") by approximately 48, 000 acres and was
issued pursuant to then-President Barack Obama's
authority under the Antiquities Act. Over 80 percent of the
expanded acreage was, prior to the expansion, Oregon and
California Lands ("O&C" Lands). Plaintiffs
contend the Proclamation unlawfully changed its designation
and accompanying statutory purpose from "permanent
timber production to the park-like preservation status of a
national monument." Compl., at 2, ¶ 2 [CM/ECF No.
1.]. Plaintiffs argue this designation violated the O&C
Act and exceeded the scope of the President's authority
under the Antiquities Act.
this case was filed, President Donald J. Trump signed an
executive order directing the Secretary of the Interior to
review the designation of several national monuments,
including the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.
Consequently, on June 13, 2017, in order to provide the
Secretary with the opportunity to complete the review
process, the parties stipulated to stay these proceedings
until thirty days after the Secretary presented his final
report to the President. [CM/ECF No. 22.]. The Court granted
this request and directed the parties to file a joint status
report when the stay was slated to end.
September 27, 2017, the parties submitted their first joint
status report, and, in so doing, also requested that the
Court continue the stay because the Secretary's
recommendations, which endorsed reducing the size of the
Monument, had been transferred to, and were being considered
by, the President. First Joint Status Report [CM/ECF No.
25.]. "Because Presidential action based on the
recommendations could ultimately affect the existing monument
designation and its size in ways that could affect this
litigation, " First Joint Status Report, at 2, the Court
continued the stay through November 27, 2017.
November 28, 2017, the parties again sought to defer the
proceedings because the Secretary's recommendations
remained under the President's consideration. Second
Joint Status Report [CM/ECF No. 27.]. The Court granted this
request and stayed the case through January 31, 2018.
on February 2, 2018, the parties filed a third joint status
report, again notifying the Court that the Secretary's
recommendations were under consideration by the President but
no Presidential action has been taken. Third Joint Status
Report [CM/ECF No. 29.]. Because no Presidential action has
been taken, Plaintiffs and Federal Defendants ask that the
Court continue the stay through March 31, 2018, in order
"to afford additional time for Presidential review and
consideration of the Secretary of Interior's
recommendations[.]" Third Joint Status Report, at 2.
Intervenor-Defendants oppose a further stay. First, they note
that the stay has been lifted in two separate cases also
challenging the Monument's expansion. Thus,
Intervenor-Defendants argue it would be most efficient for
this case to proceed as well. Second, Intervenor-Defendants
maintain that Plaintiffs and Federal Defendants "have
not met their burden to justify a further stay of the
litigation, " and note that "[i]t has now been
almost one year since [Plaintiffs] filed [their] complaint in
this case." Intervenor-Defs.' Mem. in Opp'n to
Stay, at 1-2 [CM/ECF No. 31.].
contrast, Plaintiffs and Federal Defendants argue that the
Court should continue the stay, as doing so is in the
Court's interest and would promote the orderly
administration of justice. Specifically, they argue that
staying this matter until the President acts on the
Secretary's recommendations would promote the efficient
allocation of judicial and party resources because the
President's ultimate decision could moot the very issue
Plaintiffs challenge in this action. Furthermore, Plaintiffs
and Federal Defendants maintain that a further stay would not
harm Intervenor-Defendants; indeed, they argue,
"maintaining the status quo ... is, after all, the
fundamental goal of [Intervenor-Defendants']
participation in this case." Pis.' Mem. in Supp. of
Stay, at 4 [CM/ECF No. 32.].
district court has inherent power to control the disposition
of the causes on its docket in a manner which will promote
economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for
litigants." CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265,
268 (9th Cir. 1962). As such, "[a] district court has
discretionary power to stay proceedings." Lockyer v.
Mirant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1109 (9th Cir. 2005)
(citing Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254
(1936)). In utilizing this discretion, however, the district
court must weigh a No. of factors, including any potential
damage that may result from granting a stay, "the
hardship or inequity which a party may suffer in being
required to go forward, and the orderly course of justice
measured in terms of the simplifying or complicating of
issues, proof, and questions of law which could be expected
to result from a stay." CMAX, 300 F.2d at 268 (citing
Landis, 299 U.S. at 254-55). The party seeking "a stay
must make out a clear case of hardship or inequity in being
required to go forward, if there is even a fair possibility
that the stay for which he prays will work damage to some one
else." Lamfo, 299U.S. at255.
facts of this case, the Court finds that the balance of
factors weighs against continuing the stay. First, the Court
finds Federal Defendants would suffer little to no inequity
or hardship. As mentioned, the stay in two separate lawsuits,
which, as here, challenge the Monument expansion, has been
lifted and those cases are moving forward. Therefore, in both
cases, Am. Forest Res. Council v. United States of
America, 1:17-cv-00441-RJL (D.D.C. Dec. 1, 2017), and
Assoc, of O&C Ctys. v. Trump, 1:17-cv-00280-RJL
(D.D.C. Feb. 13, 2017) (collectively, the "District of
Columbia Cases"), Federal Defendants are required to
file their responsive pleadings by March 15, 2018, and
dispositive motion briefing in both cases is set to finish on
or before September 13, 2018.
issue in all three cases is a legal one: whether Presidential
Proclamation No. 9564, which expanded the Monument, violates
the O&C Act and the Antiquities Act. Accordingly, far
from suffering inequity or hardship if this case were to move
forward, Federal Defendants would merely be required to
defend against the same allegations as are being made in
those two identical cases. Simply "being required to
defend a suit, without more, does not constitute a clear case
of hardship or inequity." Lockyer, 398 F.3d at 1112
(internal quotation and citation omitted). This is all the