Archive for federal lawsuit

Clothing Brand Patagonia Joining the Fight to Preserve National Monuments

Native American tribes and environmental groups aren’t the only ones who care about President Donald Trump trying to whittle away at protection for national monuments. Patagonia, a well-known brand of outdoor clothing, has recently voiced its contention as well.

Trump, an ardent supporter of states’ rights, recently signed legislation that would scale back two Utah-based monuments. People who seek to protect the Grand Staircase-Escalante and the Bears Ears National Monument voiced their displeasure immediately. Their main fear is that companies will use the land for grazing, mining, and the drilling of oil because it’s rich in uranium.

Patagonia, one of the most outspoken critics of this development, stated it will sue the White House. It also informed its website visitors that President Trump stole their land. The company’s CEO, Rose Marcario, stated that Patagonia will take its fight to court if necessary.

On December 4, the environmental activist group Earthjustice filed a federal lawsuit representing eight other like-minded organizations. The lawsuit claims Trump violated the 1906 Antiquities Act that guarantees the preservation of monuments or ruins that sit on public land. Earthjustice argues that Trump is catering to the coal mining industry instead of protecting the heritage of monuments and ruins in the two Utah parks.

Navajo Nation, a Native American activist group, stated that it will file a legal challenge against Trump’s decision as well. Like Patagonia and Earthjustice, Navajo Nation cites the violation of the Antiquities Act as the reason for its actions and outrage.

Former President Barack Obama created the Bears Ears National Monument before leaving office in January 2017. The monument includes approximately 100,000 archaeological sites.

The move by Trump upset Native Americans who conduct many spiritual rituals at the two monuments, including healing ceremonies and collection of wood and herbs.

The December 4 legislation by Trump reduces Bears Ears National Monument by 84 percent. This amounts to 220,000 acres. He also requested Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, to review an additional 27 monuments earlier in 2017.

Trump has also ordered downsizing of the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument to one million acres from 1.9 million acres. His reasoning is that public lands should be available for public use. However, critics think he’s more concerned with the potential profits from billions of tons of oil and coal deposits.

Woman Sues Nye County Due to Lengthy Jail Stay of Daughter

A mother in Pahrump, Nevada claims that Nye County officials forced her daughter to unnecessarily stay in jail for more than year. In the lawsuit filed against Nye County, the woman claims that the officials ignored the orders of the court to send her daughter to the state psychiatric facility.

The mother filed the federal lawsuit on Tuesday against both Bye County and Sheriff Sharon Wehrly. According to the lawsuit, Caryssa Lennox was arrested by law enforcement in February 2014 for destruction of property and the misuse of an emergency phone number.

Two months after her arrest, Lennox was evaluated by two psychologists at the Nye County Detention Center. The two psychologists concluded that Lennox was mentally incompetent to go to court and stand trial. They recommended that Lennox receive treatment at Lake’s Crossing Center.

After another two months, a district judge in Nye County ordered that the sheriff’s office take Lennox to the maximum-security Lake’s Crossing, which is a psychiatric facility. The district attorney of Nye County and the lawyers of Lennox agreed that the 28-year-old would be treated at Seven Hills Hospital, which is a Lennox-mentally-incapable-of-standing-trial-quotebehavioral health treatment center.

The sheriff’s office neglected or refused to transport Lennox to either facility. Lennox was forced to remain in jail until October 2014 when the district judge again ordered Lennox to be transported to Lake’s Crossing. Three months later, Lennox was evaluated by psychologists and it was again deemed that she was mentally incapable of standing trial.

In the lawsuit, the mother claims that the sheriff’s office violated Lennox’s due process rights. According to Greg Cortese, who is the lead attorney of the lawsuit, an inmate is usually committed to Lake Crossing after two psychologists agree that the inmate is psychologically unfit to go to court. However, the sheriff’s office refused to fulfill these expectations in Lennox’s case.

For the third time in the span of year, the court ordered that Lennox be transported to Lake’s Crossing in February 2015. The charges pressed against Lennox were dropped in April and the court ordered that Lennox be taken to Seven Hills Hospital. Within six days after Lennox’s charges were dismissed, the women was taken to the private Henderson center.