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United States v. Gardner

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
107 F.3d 1314 (1997)


Clifford Gardner and Beth Gardner (defendants) used federal land in the Humboldt National Forest in Nevada for cattle grazing without a permit. Mexico had ceded this land to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War. The United States had retained ownership over 80 percent of the land in Nevada. The Gardners refused to pay a fine to the federal government for unauthorized cattle grazing, and the United States (plaintiff) sued for damages and injunctive relief. The district court granted summary judgment to the United States, enjoining the Gardners from unauthorized cattle grazing and ordering the Gardners to pay the fine. The Gardners appealed, arguing that Nevada should be given title to federal lands within its boundaries under prior dicta, the equal-footing doctrine, Nevada’s Statehood Act, and the Tenth Amendment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Choy, J.)

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