Tillett v. Bureau of Land Management et al
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN FULL in case 1:15-cv-00048-SPW and case 1:15-cv-00061-SPW. GRANTING (25) Motion for Summary Judgment in case 1:15-cv-00048-SPW. Signed by Judge Susan P. Watters on 5/18/2016. (Order mailed to J. Tillett) Associated Cases: 1:15-cv-00048-SPW, 1:15-cv-00061-SPW (AMC, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
MAY 18 2016
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JERRI JOETTE TILLETT,
BUREAU OF LAND
BOARD OF LAND APPEALS, and
DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR,
Plaintiff Jerri Joette Tillett brought these two actions against Defendants
Bureau of Land Management, Interior Board of Land Appeals, and the Department
of Interior (collectively "BLM"). In the two cases, Tillett challenges various
aspects of the BLM's management of wild horses on the Pryor Mountain Wild
Horse Range ("PMWHR"). Tillett seeks a stay of all BLM actions on the
PMWHR, a court-ordered investigation into BLM's methodology, and $500,000 in
restitution payable to Tillett, tax-free. Without objection, United States Magistrate
Judge Carolyn Ostby consolidated the two cases.
BLM has moved for summary judgment. On April 4, 2016, Judge Ostby
issued Findings and Recommendations, in which she recommends that this Court
grant BLM's summary judgment motion. Judge Ostby concluded that BLM has
not waived its sovereign immunity for actions seeking restitution and court-ordered
investigations. Liberally construing Tillett's other challenges as claims under the
Administrative Procedure Act, Judge Ostby concluded that BLM has not acted
arbitrarily or capriciously and complied with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and
Burros Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1331-1340.
Tillett timely objected to Judge Ostby's Findings and Recommendations and
is therefore entitled to de novo review of the specified findings or
recommendations to which she objects. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). After a de novo
review, the Court finds that Judge Ostby thoroughly and accurately analyzed
BLM's summary judgment motion. Tillett does not point to any waiver of
sovereign immunity that would allow this Court to order restitution or an
investigation into BLM's practices. Further, a review of the record shows that
BLM did not act arbitrarily or capriciously or violate the Wild Free-Roaming
Horses and Burros Act when deciding how to manage the PMWHR.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. Judge Ostby's Findings and Recommendations (Doc. 41) are ADOPTED
2. BLM's Combined Motion for Summary Judgment on Consolidated Cases
(Doc. 25) is GRANTED.
3. The Clerk of Court shall enter judgments in CV 15-48-BLG-SPW and CV
15-61-BLG-SPW and close the cases.
DATED this iZ_ day of May, 2016.
United States District Judge
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