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Klaudt v. Department of the Interior

Citation: 23 ELR 21114
No. No. 92-2216, 990 F.2d 409/(8th Cir., 04/05/1993)

The court holds that it lacks jurisdiction to review rancher's appeal of a district court decision dismissing their challenge to a tax imposed by an Indian tribe for grazing on their land, the ranchers omitted any reference to the district court order from which they appealed. The court holds that although the requirements of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure should be liberally construed, the omission of reference to the order is more than a mere technicality. The court also holds that the appellants are not entitled to a judicial hearing on their claims concerning administration of the tax, because the ranchers did not exhaust administrative remedies. Balancing the parties' interests the court finds that the appellants have no interest in immediate judicial review because their injuries are hypothetical at this point, whereas the government's interest in exhaustion includes development of a factual record, exercise of discretion, application of its expertise, and allowing the agency the opportunity to discover and correct its own errors.

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants
Kenn Pugh
Tobin Law Office
422 Main St., P.O. Box 730, Winner SD 57580
(605) 842-2500

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
David L. Zuercher
Zuercher Law Office
104 Lee Hill Rd., Pierre SD 57501
(605) 224-5216

Before MAGILL and BEAM, Circuit Judges, and LARSON,* Senior District Judge.