United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
947 F.2d 1409 (9th Cir. 1991)
In June 1987, Reed Gilmore (plaintiff) filed an oil and gas application with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (defendant). BLM selected Gilmore’s application in a random drawing. On August 26, 1987, BLM sent Gilmore a decision enclosing lease forms for Gilmore to sign and file with the BLM within thirty days of receipt of the decision. The decision warned that non-compliance would lead to BLM’s rejection of Gilmore’s offer. Gilmore received the decision on August 29, 1987. On September 21, 1987, Gilmore signed the forms and sent them by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. The deadline for filing the forms was September 28, 1987. That day, Gilmore’s secretary, Debra Bohac, realized she had not yet received the return receipt card. After confirming with BLM that BLM had not received the forms, Bohac arranged for a telecopied lease form to be delivered to BLM that day. On September 29, 1987, BLM rejected Gilmore’s offer. Gilmore appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA). IBLA affirmed BLM’s decision because the telecopied lease form did not contain an original signature, as required by federal regulations. Gilmore appealed to the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, which affirmed. Gilmore then appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Nelson, J.)
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