Blog Post 4/21/15

Lawsuit Update

Yesterday (April 20), USARK and FWS submitted supplemental briefs (links below). USARK has once again strengthened our side by providing additional supportive information. USARK also responded to questions asked by the Court and addressed points not raised during the April 7 hearing.

Among others, key aspects from USARK include the reassertion that FWS does not have jurisdiction to ban interstate transportation/commerce through these injurious listings and that the statute of limitations to challenge the listings has not expired. All points addressed were substantially backed.

FWS continues to claim the statute of limitations has expired. To elaborate, claims brought under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) have a six year statute of limitations (meaning after a set time charges cannot be brought, in this case six years). A new clock begins every time the right to challenge an action first accrues (or comes into existence as a claim that is legally enforceable).

For this matter, the six-year window starts when FWS publishes a final rule in the Federal Register. The Federal Register announcements were in 2012 for the original constrictor snake species, and 2015 for the recent additions. Clearly, the statute of limitations has not expired, as FWS claims. By their argument, challenges could never be raised for any future injurious listings and any species could now be added without fear of judicial review (i.e. lawsuit).

Both parties will file additional briefs in response to yesterday's filings by April 27. Judge Moss will then take 10 days to review all information and will make a ruling on USARK's preliminary injunction on May 7. This will not be a ruling on the lawsuit. It will only regard USARK's request for injunctive relief. If a favorable decision is granted, emergency veterinary care could be sought across state lines, pet owners could move with their snakes, and breeders of Reticulated pythons and Green anacondas could continue business as usual (meaning before the rule went into effect on April 9) until the case is decided, which may be many months from now. To be clear, May 7 is not the end of the lawsuit. It will just be a ruling on the preliminary injunction.

USARK continues to advance deliberately with an unwavering objective. We will show that the Reptile Nation has been subjected to wrongful, prejudiced and overreaching regulation.

If you have not been following this lawsuit, which was filed in December, 2013, you can find all previous lawsuit updates at www.usark.org. Simply click any link on our homepage with "Lawsuit Update." The first lawsuit update can be found at www.usark.org/2013-blog/usark_takes_action/.

View USARK's latest brief at www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Dkt-No-45-Plaintiffs-Supp-Brief.pdf.

View FWS' latest brief at www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Dkt-No-44-Government-Supp-Brief1.pdf.

Donate to the USARK Legal Defense Fund

Information for making donations online and via check/money order can be found at www.usark.org/reptile-defense-fund-2/. You can make one-time, weekly, monthly or annual donations. You can also include a message that will be posted on the Legal Defense Fund Donor Wall at www.usark.org/usark-announcement/reptile-defense-donor-wall/ for all to see. You can even choose to make your donation or donation amount anonymous. Thanks for your support as we battle FWS to restore the freedoms of the Reptile Nation.

Join RAACA 2.0 Today!

There is a new anytime RAACA! Check out the format for listing auctions to benefit USARK via RAACA USARK Auctions at www.facebook.com/groups/1623588901209232/. These auctions will allow donations at any time and not just during fundraiser events. Anyone can bid, donate and support the Reptile Nation!

RAACA USARK Auctions raised over $2,600 during their first three weeks. Thank you, RAACA, Jordan, Tammy, Houssam, Christine, donors and all the admins in this group!

Article written by USARK