October 9, 2013
TEJON RANCH CO., et al, Plaintiffs,
UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, et al. Defendants.
ROBERT G. DREHER, Acting Assistant Attorney General, BRADLEY H. OLIPHANT, Cal. Bar # 216468, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice Environment & Natural Resources Division Wildlife & Marine Resources Section, Denver, CO, CAITLIN IMAKI, WA Bar #44679, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division Natural Resources Section Washington, D.C., Attorneys for Federal Defendants.
UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR A STAY OF JOINT STATUS REPORT ON IMPLEMENTATION OF STIPULATION AND MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT IN LIGHT OF LAPSE OF APPROPRIATIONS AND ORDER RE SAME.
LAWRENCE J. O'NEILL, District Judge.
The United States of America hereby moves for a stay of the parties' quarterly status report in the above-captioned case. Plaintiffs join this request.
1. At the end of the day on September 30, 2013, the appropriations act that had been funding the Department of Justice expired and appropriations to the Department lapsed. The same is true for most Executive agencies, including the federal defendants. The Department does not know when funding will be restored by Congress.
2. Absent an appropriation, Department of Justice attorneys and employees of the federal defendants are prohibited from working, even on a voluntary basis, except in very limited circumstances, including "emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property." 31 U.S.C. § 1342.
3. Undersigned counsel for the Department of Justice therefore requests a stay of the parties' quarterly status report in the above-captioned case until Congress has restored appropriations to the Department.
4. If this motion for a stay is granted, undersigned counsel will notify the Court as soon as Congress has appropriated funds for the Department. The Government requests that, at that point, all current deadlines for the parties be extended commensurate with the duration of the lapse in appropriations.
5. Opposing counsel has authorized counsel for the Government to state that the plaintiffs join this motion.
Therefore, although we greatly regret any disruption caused to the Court and the other litigants, the Government hereby moves for a stay of the parties' quarterly status report in this case until Department of Justice attorneys are permitted to resume their usual civil litigation functions.
This Court STAYS the filing of quarterly status reports pursuant to the federal defendants' request.
IT IS SO ORDERED.