In Defense of Animals v. U.S. Dept. of the Interior

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
  • Date Filed: 08-15-2011
  • Case #: 10-16715
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges Schroeder and Bea; Circuit Judge Rawlinson dissenting
  • Full Text Opinion

An interlocutory appeal from the denial of a preliminary injunction is moot when the event the injunction was filed to stop has already occurred.

In Defense of Animals and Dreamcatcher Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary (“Plaintiffs”) brought this interlocutory appeal from an action in the district court. Plaintiffs sought to stop the government from rounding up, auctioning off, and destroying wild horses and burros on the California-Nevada boarder. Plaintiffs argued that the government’s actions would violate the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Plaintiffs filed the motion for preliminary injunction on August 5, 2010. The district court denied the injunction and the roundup has now taken place. The Ninth Circuit held that the appeal was moot. The motion for preliminary injunction sought to stop the roundup, but because the roundup has already occurred, the court cannot order it undone. The appeal, therefore, is moot. The court expressed no opinion as to whether the entire action was moot, noting that issue remains before the district court.

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