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Montana Wildlife Federation v. Zinke

United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division

July 11, 2019

MONTANA WILDLIFE FEDERATION; THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY; NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY; NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION; and MONTANA AUDUBON, Plaintiffs,
v.
RYAN ZINKE, in his official capacity as Secretary if the Interior; DONATO JUDICE, in his official capacity as Montana Bureau of Land Management Deputy State Director; UNITED STATES BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT; and UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Defendants,

          ORDER

          Brian Morris United States District Court Judge

         1. Nature of the Case: The parties agree that this case involves judicial review of agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-06, and remains exempt pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1)(B)(i) and Local Rule 16.2(a) from the requirements of initial disclosures, a discovery plan, expert disclosures, or trial. The parties anticipate that this matter will be resolved by cross-motions for summary judgment rather than trial.

         Proceedings in this case will occur in stages, as described below:

         2. Phase One Summary Judgment Motions: The initial phase of the case (“Phase One”) will address all claims and defenses with respect to the National Directives. Phase One Summary Judgment Motions will address claims challenging the leasing decisions for the Montana December 2017 lease sale, the Montana March 2018 lease sale, and the June 2018 Wyoming lease sale, as proposed by Plaintiffs. See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 62-67, 83-85. This approach will provide the Court with a representation of how the National Directives have been applied to the challenged leasing decisions.

         Adjudication of Plaintiffs' claims concerning the remaining leasing decisions will be stayed pending the Court's resolution of the Phase One Summary Judgment Motions. The following schedule will apply to proceedings in connection with the Phase One Summary Judgment Motions:

September 13, 2019: Federal Defendants to lodge the administrative records for the decisions covered by the Phase One Summary Judgment Motions with the Court.
September 13, 2019: Deadline for all parties to file motions seeking to complete or supplement the administrative records for the decisions covered by the Phase One Summary Judgment Motions. If any such motions are filed, the parties will submit a status report and proposed summary judgment briefing schedule within 21 days after those motions are resolved and any materials added to the record.

         If no administrative record motions are filed, summary judgment motions will be briefed according to the schedule below.

         September 27, 2019: Plaintiffs to file their summary judgment motion addressing all claims at issue in Phase One.

         November 8, 2019: Federal Defendants to file their combined summary judgment response and cross-motion for summary judgment addressing all claims at issue in Phase One.

         November 29, 2019: Defendant-Intervenors to file summary judgment responses and cross-motions for summary judgment on all claims at issue in Phase One. Intervenors shall not repeat arguments raised by the Federal Defendants, but may adopt and incorporate those arguments by reference.

         January 10, 2020: Plaintiffs to file their combined summary judgment reply and response to the cross-motions for summary judgment on all Phase One claims.

         January 31, 2020: Federal Defendants to file their reply in support of their cross-motion for summary judgment on all Phase One claims.

         February 14, 2020: Intervenors to file their replies in support of cross-motions for summary judgment on all Phase One claims. Intervenors shall not repeat arguments raised by the Federal Defendants, ...


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