United States District Court, D. Colorado
June 22, 2015
SOUTHERN UTE INDIAN TRIBE, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR, et al. Defendants.
ORDER FOR EARLY REASSIGNMENT FROM AP DOCKET
JOHN L. KANE SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
This administrative appeal by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe challenges to a final rulemaking of the BLM set to go into effect tomorrow. The rulemaking establishes new requirements regulating hydraulic fracturing, which the Tribe claim will affect fracturing currently ongoing on tribal lands. Simultaneously with the Complaint in this case, the Tribe filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 6), seeking an immediate reprieve from any obligation to comply with the new regulations until its challenge can be heard on its merits.
While it is unclear to me why the Tribe waited until the day before the regulations’ effective date to file suit, the fact is that the merits of the administrative challenge and the request for temporary and preliminary injunctive relief are inextricably intertwined. This fact and the time-sensitive nature of the injunctive relief requested makes this case inappropriate for pre-merits case managment on the AP docket. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that this case is REMITTED to the Clerk for immediate random assignment to a merits judge under D.C.COLO.LCiv.R 40.1. The parties are reminded that, unless otherwise ordered by the merits judge, this case remains an administrative appeal under the Court’s Local Appellate (LAP) Rules and that briefing and other pre-merits procedures remain governed by the LAP Rules.