It’s been a long road for Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan, but the ranching trio is determined to face federal prosecutors once again.
Filing three civil lawsuits in the span of two weeks, the family has launched a legal offensive against both state and federal authorities on the basis of challenging the public-lands policy in Nevada, according to The Washington Times.
The suit brought forward by the Bundy’s also accuses authorities of misconduct in a 2014 standoff with federal land managers on the open Nevada range where the rancher’s cattle grazed and fed.
According to reports, Bundy rallied militia members and armed supporters in order to stop officers from following through on a court order to impound Bundy’s cattle near Bunkerville after the rancher allegedly failed to pay grazing fees and fines for two decades and claiming it was “family land.”
After a heated standoff, local authorities and the federal Bureau of Land Management backed down from Bundy and several others, though they later accused the rancher of assaulting a federal law officer, conspiring against the United States, and interfering with commerce by extortion and obstruction of justice.
By 2016, Bundy, his sons and several others were indicted by a grand jury and Bundy was eventually kept in prison as the trial carried along. By January 2018, however, Bundy was a free man.
Last month, a U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro dismissed the charges against Bundy, citing prosecutors’ failure to turn over evidence to defense attorneys that included issues such as an FBI surveillance camera, federal snipers and other officials positioned outside Bundy’s ranch in 2014, The Oregonian reported.
Navarro cited “flagrant misconduct” by prosecutors and listed six different types of evidence that had been withheld after it had been specifically requested, adding that the government misconduct was “outrageous.”
As for Bundy and his sons, who are following through with their new lawsuit against the feds, he is speaking out to make his opinion known on how challenging this longstanding dispute has been — and it all boils down to land.
Bundy’s lawsuit, filed on January 26, delves deeper into the grazing rights dispute when he asked the court to declare that federal public lands — namely the 85 percent within Nevada’s borders — belong to the state.
Bundy’s lawsuit suggests that the situation has only been made worse since 2014 in terms of fighting for what he claims is “ancestral family lands” dating all the way back to the 1800s.
According to the complaint, the Gold Butte National Monument, created by President Obama in 2016, overlaps with the grazing land of his ranch and is a major threat to his cattle business.
“If left unchallenged, President Obama’s designation would preclude the Petitioner and The Bundy Ranch from continuing to function on the land, which it has used for at least 141 years, as well as disrupt the operations of The Bundy Ranch and destroy the Petitioner’s livelihood,” the lawsuit stated.
Bundy has refused to pay federal grazing fees on the basis of refusing to give “money to an entity which does not actually own the land.”
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