Solenex, LLC Files For Expedited Hearing; Environmental Groups File Motion To Intervene In Moncrief Case

2016 comment by Judge Richard J. Leon in Solenex case

Cases involve Federal mineral leases in Glacier County, Montana

On May 31st, Solenex, LLC filed a Motion for Oral Argument and/or Expedited Consideration with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The Solenex case was filed in June, 2013, and in the most recent motion before Judge Richard J. Leon, filed by Solenex’ counsel Steve Lechner, with Mountain States Legal Foundation, cites the age of the original leaseholder of federal oil and gas lease M-53323, Sidney Longwell, telling the court that “Mr. Longwell, the manager of Solenex, was 44 years old when the Lease was issued to him. He is now 79 years old.”

The motion seeks oral argument and/or expedited consideration regarding the “parties’ cross-motions for summary judgement.”

As of the Sun Times’ deadline, Judge Leon has not ruled on the motion.

In the case of W.A. Moncrief v. U.S. Department of Interior, several groups have filed a motion, also with Judge Leon, to intervene as defendants in the Moncrief case, which was also filed against the U.S. Department of Interior.

Seeking intervenor status in the Moncrief litigation are Pikuni Traditionalist Association, Blackfeet Headwaters Alliance, Glacier-two Medicine Alliance, Montana Wilderness Association, National Parks Conservation Association and The Wilderness Society. The motion was submitted to the court by Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso of Bozeman, Montana.

Preso also filed a Pro Hac Vice motion with the court for another Earthjustice attorney, Aurora R. Janke, to appear in Judge Leon’s court in regard to the Moncrief case. Pro Hac Vice translates into “on this occasion only.” It is a common practice to allow attorneys to appear in a court within a jurisdiction where they have not been admitted to practice.

Also in the Moncrief case, the parties (W.A. Moncrief, Jr. and the U.S. Department of Interior) filed a joint motion on June 7 with Judge Leon to set a new deadline for the defendants to answer the plaintiff’s complaint, and the motion sets a series of deadlines as the case progresses in the court.

The defendants have until June 30 to file their answer to the complaint.