May 7, 2013

Drakes Bay Oyster Company showdown with federal government in Ninth Circuit next Tuesday

By Anthony L. Francois Senior Attorney

Next Tuesday, Drakes Bay Oyster Company will face the most important hearing to date in its battle for survival with the federal government, which has illegally denied the Oyster Company a renewed permit to operate within Point Reyes National Seashore.  You can read more of the background of their fight here or by listening to our podcast.

Drakes Bay Oyster Company will be asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to enjoin the federal government from ejecting the Oyster Company from its property, destroying its business and its employees’ jobs, and throwing several employees and family members out of their housing, before the trial court has even considered all of the arguments.

The Oyster Company is seeking an injunction in the Ninth Circuit because the trial court refused to grant one.  The trial court erroneously agreed with the federal government that it could deny a renewed permit for any reason or no reason at all, based on an outrageous interpretation of a federal statute, the purpose of which is clearly to enable renewal of the permit.  The trial court also erroneously concluded that there is a compelling public interest in imposing a wilderness designation that counterbalances the interest in property, jobs, and housing for the Oyster Company and its employees.  PLF looks forward to the Ninth Circuit correcting these errors and issuing the injunction which Drakes Bay Oyster Company seeks.

I will be attending the hearing, and live tweeting from the courthouse as the hearing proceeds, to provide the most up-to-date information on this important case for freedom to use private property and engage in business free from arbitrary wilderness designations.

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