This afternoon we received a ruling from the 7th District Court – Monticello on the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) v. San Juan County Commission. This was a lawsuit submitted by SUWA alleging that the Commission had violated the Open Meeting Law when the body had met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in Washington on May 2.
However, Judge Lyle Anderson ruled to DISMISS SUWA’s complaint stating that the Commission has no jurisdiction or advisory power over the Bears Ears Monument for which the meeting was held to discuss.
“Anyone can advocate. Anyone can lobby. That one can do so does not mean one has either jurisdiction or advisory status. The Utah Open Meetings Act was clearly not designed to reach so far,” stated Judge Anderson in his ruling, which can be found in full here: SUWA v San Juan County Ruling
The Judge went further, questioning the propriety of SUWA’s filing as a mechanism of “intimidation” directed at San Juan County Commission or others, and were directed to file a memorandum addressing this with the Court by May 1.