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United States v. Christiansen

ELR Citation: 11 ELR 20314
Nos. No. CR-R-80-41-ECR, 504 F. Supp. 364/(D. Nev., 12/02/1980)

Denying a motion to dismiss a criminal indictment for willfully removing wild free-roaming horses from public lands under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the court rules that the statute is not unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. the Act defines wild free-roaming horses and burros to include all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands. The court rejects defendants' assertion that the Act's failure to define "unclaimed" renders the statute unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. Similarly, the court rejects defendants' contention that domestic animals escaping by accident or negligence onto public lands become wild free-roaming animals within the meaning of the Act. The court rules that in order for defendants to be convicted under the indictment against them, it must be established that the horses were removed from public lands.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Edward R.J. Kane, Ass't U.S. Attorney
300 Booth St., Rm. 2-032, Reno NV 89509
(702) 784-5439

Counsel for Defendants
Martin Wiener, Ass't Federal Public Defender
300 Booth St., Rm. 4109, Reno NV 89509
(702) 784-5626

David R. Gamble
Smith & Gamble, Ltd.
502 N. Division St., Carson City NV 89701
(702) 883-3200