Preliminary Injunction Final Ruling

Today (5/19/15), Judge Moss made a final ruling on USARK’s preliminary injunction. The preliminary injunction will go into effect 14 days from today (June 2, 2015).

The scope of the injunction is limited. Domestic imports and transportation into Texas and Florida are excluded from the injunction. The injunction will also be limited to listed plaintiffs and USARK members. The exclusions with explanations, other details and the official ruling can be found at the bottom of this page.

Since the scope is limited, it does protect the preliminary injunction should FWS appeal. While it’s hard to call this a “bright side,” it must be noted that FWS showed interest in appealing. Should they choose to do so, the limited scope of the injunction will provide an additional and substantial obstacle to overcome. The limited scope may also persuade FWS not to appeal.

Even though limited, this preliminary injunction is still a preeminent achievement. A federal injurious listing was overreach for these species. The lawsuit will continue and USARK will continue to fight and illustrate this point.

USARK has demonstrated that we are likely to prevail on the merits of our case. The preliminary injunction was not received in full, but the ruling in our favor was huge! This must be stressed. The legal requirements that had to be met to receive the injunction were demanding to overcome, but we did it. It is extremely difficult to get a preliminary injunction, and having now earned it will serve us favorably as the lawsuit continues.

The Reptile Nation is strong and we will march forward.

Additional Lawsuit Update

If you have not yet read our recent lawsuit update from just a few hours ago, you can read it at www.usark.org/2015-blog/7173/.

Preliminary Injunction Details and Other Points

  1. The injunction goes into effect fourteen (14) days from 5/19/15 (which is June 2, 2015);
  2. interstate transportation/shipment/commerce will be legal for all continental U.S. states except Florida and Texas;
  3. exportation (domestic and international) from Texas and Florida will be legal;
  4. limited to USARK members and listed plaintiffs (this was suggested by FWS in its 5/15/15 brief);
  5. limited to USARK members on or before April 8, 2015;
  6. details regarding membership and your inclusion to receive injunctive relief are below;
  7. this only applies to reticulated pythons and green anacondas (other listed species are still illegal for interstate transport);
  8. importation into the U.S. is still illegal.

View the final injunction announcement (Docket 60) at www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Dkt-No-60-Mem-Op-on-Injunction.pdf.

View the injunction criteria (Docket 61) at www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Dkt-No-61-USARK-PI.pdf.

Both documents are posted at www.usark.org/library/lawsuit-pi-final-ruling-5-19-15/.

Injunctive Relief

Before shipping reticulated pythons and green anacondas, you'll need to acquire your membership verification letter from USARK. This letter does not need to be included in shipments, but the letter and email must be saved so proof can be shown to FWS should they request it. The injunction is scheduled to be in effect until a final ruling is made on the lawsuit. Obviously, anyone not concerned with these species should not contact us to be included on this list.

However, per the ruling of the Court and as proposed by FWS, only USARK members as of April 8, 2015 qualify for relief under the injunction. Our basic membership level is $20 annually. If you met that criteria on or before April 8, 2015, you are a member. USARK will verify any membership claims. Membership fees could be paid in the form or cash, check, credit card, volunteer time, services or goods.

Answers to expected questions: Purchases at auctions do not qualify. You are receiving something in return for your purchase and not donating to USARK. Also, the purchase of any raffle tickets, shirts, hats etc. do not qualify.

To notify us that you are a member of USARK (before April 8, 2015) who wants to be included on this list, send an email to contact@USARK.org. Facebook postings and messages cannot qualify you. You must contact USARK at this email address. Please email us with questions.

If you missed it, Dockets 60 and 61 were uploaded on the same page at www.usark.org/library/lawsuit-pi-final-ruling-5-19-15/. Docket 60 announces the injunction ruling, and Docket 61 lays out the terms of the injunction, which is posted at the first link on the page.

Article written by USARK