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Claim Jumpers, Altering Patented Mining Claim Boundaries
Gold Hill Miner
post Jun 19 2017, 01:58 PM
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I have thwarted a claim jumper and an adverse possession. I am in possession of 6 survey plats showing the accurate location of my claim and 1 inaccurate setback line by an inexperienced surveyor and an incorrect Cadastral Survey/ meets and bounds survey from the BLM. I have been able to prove my claim jumper has rotated his claim 75' disrupting several mountain communities and 10 immediate adjoining parcels. I found what I needed buried in BLM case files that were missing listed documents/photos and also hidden in inaccurate case files. I am the 4th land owner since 2010 to have my claim locations fixed in my area. 4 other immediate land owners are next since I have completed my investigation. I am filing a lawsuit against this claim jumper. I have contacted the local authorities and I have contacted the BLM. I thought this was the BLM's fault. It was not.

What I am struggling with, is protection from the crazed claim jumper. I have also found there have been many land disputes over the mining claims in my area because of this ripple effect. The claim jumper claim is at the top of our mountain section. This has rippled into multiple mountain areas because the claim jumper altered his claim lines to encompass trespass issues on government land. The BLM, the County and the sheriffs department are not showing any accountability with this. All of us in the immediate area are filing the BLM letter to the claim jumper (ordering removal of trespass issue) and a recent survey showing the movement of many claims in our area by BLM to be inaccurate with the county planning department and with our deeds.

Who will finally arrest the claim jumper. His lawyer sent a letter wanting to settle out of court. Since I received the letter, the claim jumper has become more aggressive, destroys marked boundary lines and threatens my family continuously. Who will let the rest of our adjoining mountain communities know about this. I do have a TPO and will hopefully get a permanent one soon. My lawyer will be filing our lawsuit in July to recoup some of the damages caused by the claim jumper. I followed advise from a previous thread, took my land back, posted no trespassing signs and called the sheriff. Any of the remaining property in trespass on my land is mine now. How do I get this guy removed off the mountain. I can not believe the lack of accountability with the BLM, the County and the Division of Mine Reclamation. The Forest Service did help help me in 2011 and 2012 with survey equipment and we found every original stone corner monument for three of my parcels. No metal monuments unless they were thrown in mine shafts. We could see them. The forest service also proved all my GPS coordinates were a match to our county coordinates at the time. I have wasted a lot of time and money proving the same thing over and over again. No one wants to deal with this guy. I am afraid the claim jumper will cause serious damage with his bulldozer as he has in the past. Anyone remember Heemeyer in Granby or Kremmling?
On a good note, I have found my first gold flakes. At the rate I'm going it might be 10-20 years before I have an ounce. I am finding silver and gold in specific stones that have what I believe could be fluoride? It looks dark red and seems lucid or almost crystal like?
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Gold Hill Miner
post Jun 19 2017, 03:48 PM
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MikeS
post Jun 19 2017, 05:52 PM
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Well Gold Hill Miner, most of those questions are likely best answered by your lawyer. If they won't prosecute this guy then it's up to you and your lawyer to do so I would guess.

Nice flakes of gold. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif The red stones you are seeing might be garnet.


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Gene Kooper
post Jun 19 2017, 09:20 PM
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GHM,

There is this Colorado statute with direct applicability to mining claims. It also applies to anyone defacing or destroying posts or monuments marking the boundaries of unpatented mining claims in Colorado. I imagine that your attorney has advised against confronting your unneighborly neighbor. If you are on the property when he jumps in his bulldozer, take pictures, lots and lots of pictures. I seem to recall that there is a statute that is specific to property corners, like lot pins in a residential subdivision. I'll see if I can find it.

Please note that patented mineral survey corners are defined to be, "public land survey corners". They were originally set by a U.S. [Deputy] Mineral Surveyor acting under authority of the General Land Office or BLM. The only other advise I can offer is to strictly follow your attorney's advise and/or instructions regarding the nitwit neighbor.

Good Luck GHM,
Gene Kooper, PLS

TITLE 18. CRIMINAL CODE
ARTICLE 4. OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY
PART 5. TRESPASS, TAMPERING, AND CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

C.R.S. 18-4-508 (2016)

18-4-508. Defacing, destroying, or removing landmarks, monuments, or accessories

(1) Any person who knowingly cuts, fells, alters, or removes any certain boundary tree knowing such is a boundary tree, monument, or other allowed landmark, to the damage of any person, or any person who intentionally defaces, removes, pulls down, injures, or destroys any location stake, side post, corner post, landmark, or monument, or any other legal land boundary monument in this state, designating or intending to designate the location, boundary, or name of any mining claim, lode, or vein of mineral, or the name of the discoverer or date of discovery thereof, commits a class 2 misdemeanor.

(2) Any person who knowingly removes or knowingly causes to be removed any public land survey monument, as defined by section 38-53-103 (18), C.R.S., or control corner, as defined in section 38-53-103 (6), C.R.S., or a restoration of any such monument or who knowingly removes or knowingly causes to be removed any bearing tree knowing such is a bearing tree or other accessory, as defined by section 38-53-103 (1), C.R.S., even if said person has title to the land on which said monument or accessory is located, commits a class 2 misdemeanor unless, prior to such removal, said person has caused a Colorado professional land surveyor to establish at least two witness corners or reference marks for each such monument or accessory removed and has filed or caused to be filed a monument record pursuant to article 53 of title 38, C.R.S.

HISTORY: Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 431, 1. C.R.S. 1963: 40-4-508.L. 77: Entire section amended, p. 963, 28, effective July 1.L. 79: Entire section amended, p. 478, 4, effective July 1.L. 84: (2) amended, p. 1119, 16, effective June 7.L. 94: (2) amended, p. 1507, 37, effective July 1.
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Gold Hill Miner
post Aug 9 2017, 02:08 PM
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QUOTE (Gene Kooper @ Jun 19 2017, 10:20 PM) *
GHM,

There is this Colorado statute with direct applicability to mining claims. It also applies to anyone defacing or destroying posts or monuments marking the boundaries of unpatented mining claims in Colorado. I imagine that your attorney has advised against confronting your unneighborly neighbor. If you are on the property when he jumps in his bulldozer, take pictures, lots and lots of pictures. I seem to recall that there is a statute that is specific to property corners, like lot pins in a residential subdivision. I'll see if I can find it.

Please note that patented mineral survey corners are defined to be, "public land survey corners". They were originally set by a U.S. [Deputy] Mineral Surveyor acting under authority of the General Land Office or BLM. The only other advise I can offer is to strictly follow your attorney's advise and/or instructions regarding the nitwit neighbor.

Good Luck GHM,
Gene Kooper, PLS

TITLE 18. CRIMINAL CODE
ARTICLE 4. OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY
PART 5. TRESPASS, TAMPERING, AND CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

C.R.S. 18-4-508 (2016)

18-4-508. Defacing, destroying, or removing landmarks, monuments, or accessories

(1) Any person who knowingly cuts, fells, alters, or removes any certain boundary tree knowing such is a boundary tree, monument, or other allowed landmark, to the damage of any person, or any person who intentionally defaces, removes, pulls down, injures, or destroys any location stake, side post, corner post, landmark, or monument, or any other legal land boundary monument in this state, designating or intending to designate the location, boundary, or name of any mining claim, lode, or vein of mineral, or the name of the discoverer or date of discovery thereof, commits a class 2 misdemeanor.

(2) Any person who knowingly removes or knowingly causes to be removed any public land survey monument, as defined by section 38-53-103 (18), C.R.S., or control corner, as defined in section 38-53-103 (6), C.R.S., or a restoration of any such monument or who knowingly removes or knowingly causes to be removed any bearing tree knowing such is a bearing tree or other accessory, as defined by section 38-53-103 (1), C.R.S., even if said person has title to the land on which said monument or accessory is located, commits a class 2 misdemeanor unless, prior to such removal, said person has caused a Colorado professional land surveyor to establish at least two witness corners or reference marks for each such monument or accessory removed and has filed or caused to be filed a monument record pursuant to article 53 of title 38, C.R.S.

HISTORY: Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 431, 1. C.R.S. 1963: 40-4-508.L. 77: Entire section amended, p. 963, 28, effective July 1.L. 79: Entire section amended, p. 478, 4, effective July 1.L. 84: (2) amended, p. 1119, 16, effective June 7.L. 94: (2) amended, p. 1507, 37, effective July 1.


Gene,
Thank you! BLM claims this is not their problem. The Sheriff says they have no authority. Who brings charges for Title 18 and Federal land Acts concerning mineral trespass on government land? They come running ASAP for weed management.
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swizz
post Aug 9 2017, 02:37 PM
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County Sheriff is the proper authority to enforce Federal mining laws on site. As far as I know, the ONLY authority.


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Clay Diggins
post Aug 10 2017, 01:38 AM
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If these are indeed mining claims on public lands neither the Sheriff nor the BLM have any authority at this point. If these are patented private lands the situation may be different as Gene shows in the Colorado Statutes.

Disputes between mining claimants has been a civil matter since before the 1866 and subsequent mining Acts. The 1865 Act addressed this issue solely and very simply. Here is the entire text:
QUOTE
That no possessory action between individuals in any of the courts of the United States for the recovery of any mining title, or for damages to any such title, shall be affected by the fact that the paramount title to the land on which such mines are, is in the United States, but each case shall be adjudged by the law of possession.

Simply put it may be the United States public lands but it's up to miners to settle their disputes through mitigation and if necessary the civil courts. Also the only law you can rely on for the court to settle your dispute is the law of possession.

Generally the proper civil court to bring suit will be the first court of record that has the jurisdiction to award real estate in their judgement. Each State is different so you should research which court is your proper venue before you file suit. Proof of mitigation is also generally required in these matters so you may need to establish that you have made a genuine effort to settle this matter before bringing suit.

Colorado has some of the best mining attorneys in the Country. It might be a good idea to talk to one of them to see where you stand.
If you do sue and win the Sheriff might be the right authority to enforce your judgement. First you will need to get a court order - then the Sheriff will have something he can act on.

Good luck.
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swizz
post Aug 10 2017, 05:54 AM
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QUOTE (Clay Diggins @ Aug 10 2017, 01:38 AM) *
If these are indeed mining claims on public lands neither the Sheriff nor the BLM have any authority

I didn't catch where he stated that his claim was patent or location.
Please elaborate. How did you come to this conclusion for his claim? My location claims are on BLM managed public lands and the elected County Sheriff is the Federal mining law enforcer in my neck of the woods. You are implying that NO agency is responsible for law enforcement at "mining claims on public lands". This makes things sound a little grim for the miners, don't ya think? Should I just go ahead and shoot claimjumpers at my discretion, like in the good ol days? Nah. My County Sheriff will respond to my mining claims when called. It's not my job (nor desire) as a civilian to confront criminals and enforce laws, we elected him for this. Will he investigate, file reports, and cite for mineral trespass, theft, or vandalism? You bet. Property line disputes can be handled in court without the Sheriff's intervention as long as no criminal offenses such as theft or vandalism are witnessed and provable. Gold Hill Miner has reasonable complaints in regard to vandalism, theft, etc. in addition to property line disputes. Not sure what his evidence consists of, but I'm assuming he has evidence.
If the County Sheriff and I are wrong on this... please explain. Perhaps I misunderstood your response.


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johnnybravo300
post Aug 10 2017, 08:32 AM
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Every American has the right to perform a citizens arrest if they witness a crime happening. I wouldn't hesitate to hold someone at gun point until the sheriff arrives. Why depend on anyone else to protect what's yours when you have every right to take care of it then and there.
Duct tape and zip ties make great cuffs and if they are hog tied until the sheriff arrives, they won't soon forget that.
It's just an option, if you catch them in the act.....if that's your only option....don't shoot them or injure them too much but a slight beating might be in order if there's no witness imo. This is in no way legal qdvise....just miner to miner haha.


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swizz
post Aug 10 2017, 08:37 AM
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I'm too old for that. Often criminals are also armed and I am frequently solo.... I'd end up in the duct tape and zip ties, not a good look for me. My approach is to observe and collect evidence (pics, etc), call the Sheriff, and wait until he/she arrives... hopefully while the suspects are still on site. Either way, I'd file a Sheriff's report and the Sheriff would likely increase patrol of my mining interests.


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Clay Diggins
post Aug 10 2017, 12:14 PM
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QUOTE (swizz @ Aug 10 2017, 05:54 AM) *
My location claims are on BLM managed public lands and the elected County Sheriff is the Federal mining law enforcer in my neck of the woods. You are implying that NO agency is responsible for law enforcement at "mining claims on public lands".

I never implied anything. I simply presented the law on mining location disputes. I never wrote that the Sheriff couldn't enforce federal mining laws swizz? I'm not sure a Sheriff can go over the heads of the BLM on federal mining laws but that's a discussion for another time. This thread is specifically about claim jumping.

No federal mining law has been pointed out on this thread but the one I quoted?. That law left claim location disputes to the miners involved to settle among themselves or in a court. That court is restricted to deciding their disputes based on the law of possession only. There are federal laws on the possession of mining claims but as I'm sure the Sheriff would tell you he's not a judge and can't decide who should possess a mining claim without a court order.

Until the location dispute is settled there is no evidence that there is a mineral trespass. Mineral trespass (higrading) is a separate and distinct issue from location trespass (claim jumping). A claimant has to first clear any cloud on their title before law enforcement can act on mineral trespass. The place to clear that title dispute is in a civil court proceeding. The Sheriff's hands are tied until the possession issue is resolved.

All BLM employees in the minerals and records divisions are instructed in this. (BLM Manual 3833.74)
If the BLM employees don't get the point the IBLA is known to correct their error.

From Interior Board of Land Appeals Decision 2012-186, Robert O'Day, Decided June 13, 2013:
QUOTE
1.Mining Claims:

The Board has long held that it is inappropriate for BLM to engage in disputes over the right of possession of rival claimants at the request of one of the claimants. Such disputes are more appropriately resolved by an appropriate local judicial forum, not by BLM or this Board.

BLM has a well-established policy against responding to third party assertions that a mining claimant has failed to file documents with the local recording office. See BLM Manual 3833.74. Consistent with that policy, the Board has long held that it is inappropriate for BLM to engage in disputes over the right of possession of rival claimants at the request of one of the claimants. See, e.g. , Sandra Memmott (On Reconsideration) , 93 IBLA 113, 114-15 (1986), and cases cited. Such disputes are properly resolved by an appropriate local judicial forum, not by BLM or this Board. See, e.g., Recon Mining Co. , Inc ., 167 IBLA 103, 109 (2005). In this case, BLM’s response to appellant comes perilously close to such inappropriate engagement.

This is well established law. There are hundreds if not thousands of IBLA and civil court cases that restate the same principle. You now have the law and the implementation of that law to help you understand. Neither the Sheriff nor the BLM can settle a dispute between mining claimants about their locations.
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swizz
post Aug 10 2017, 12:31 PM
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QUOTE (Clay Diggins @ Aug 10 2017, 12:14 PM) *
Neither the Sheriff nor the BLM can settle a dispute between mining claimants about their locations.

Yes, "about their locations".
Location disputes are one thing.... sign molestation, vandalism, and mineral theft are another, and all investigated and enforced by the Sheriff. NOT the BLM Ranger, nor any other BLM employee. BLM employees may call the Sheriff if they witness this type of behavior taking place.
You are addressing his property line dispute. You've told me everything I already knew regarding that but it is appreciated that you posted it for everyone's reference. I am addressing his criminal dispute. My impression is that Gold Hill Miner wants to know who should be enforcing laws regarding the malicious criminal activity that is taking place on his mining claim(s) which reside on BLM managed public land. I believe that he already resolved the property line ("about their locations") issue. Maybe I'm incorrect in assuming what Gold Hill Miner is asking. It is all very good information which we are providing either way. Thank you for posting your information. Perhaps Gold Hill Miner could have the courtesy to chine in and further clarify what he is requesting. That would be helpful. Neither of us are wrong with the advice thus far, we are just addressing separate enforcement situations. Comprende amigo?


QUOTE (Gold Hill Miner @ Jun 19 2017, 01:58 PM) *
What I am struggling with, is protection from the crazed claim jumper.

Sheriff is responsible for your protection and criminal behavior from the "crazed claim jumper".


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Clay Diggins
post Aug 10 2017, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE (swizz @ Aug 10 2017, 12:31 PM) *
Yes, "about their locations".
Location disputes are one thing.... sign molestation, vandalism, and mineral theft are another, and all investigated and enforced by the Sheriff. NOT the BLM Ranger, nor any other BLM employee. BLM employees may call the Sheriff if they witness this type of behavior taking place.
You are addressing his property line dispute. You've told me everything I already knew regarding that but it is appreciated that you posted it for everyone's reference. I am addressing his criminal dispute. My impression is that Gold Hill Miner wants to know who should be enforcing laws regarding the malicious criminal activity that is taking place on his mining claim(s) which reside on BLM managed public land. I believe that he already resolved the property line ("about their locations") issue. Maybe I'm incorrect in assuming what Gold Hill Miner is asking. It is all very good information which we are providing either way. Thank you for posting your information. Perhaps Gold Hill Miner could have the courtesy to chine in and further clarify what he is requesting. That would be helpful. Neither of us are wrong with the advice thus far, we are just addressing separate enforcement situations. Comprende amigo?



Sheriff is responsible for your protection and criminal behavior from the "crazed claim jumper".


The problem is there is no crime if it's not his claim. He has to clear the cloud on his title to the minerals before he can establish there is criminal behavior. If the claim is proven not to be his in a court of law how can there be a crime against his property?

I have no reason to doubt his claim nor do I have a reason to support his claim that his location is being violated. Neither does the Sheriff. It doesn't matter what WE believe it only matters what the law of possession is in this case. That's the nature of the law of possession. Each case has to be decided on it's own merits. Only a court of law can make that determination.

You can't put the cart before the horse. It's been tried here and you see the results. No official can act until he proves his right to possession. If it's not his the Sheriff would have his derriere in a sling for acting against the wrong person. The Sheriff understands that.
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swizz
post Aug 10 2017, 01:52 PM
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QUOTE (Gold Hill Miner @ Jun 19 2017, 01:58 PM) *
I am in possession of 6 survey plats showing the accurate location of my claim

Ok Clay, I guess we'll wait for him to go to court. rolleyes.gif


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swizz
post Aug 10 2017, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (Gold Hill Miner @ Jun 19 2017, 01:58 PM) *
What I am struggling with, is protection from the crazed claim jumper.

Gold Hill Miner-
Court case or not, mining claim or not.... Sheriff is the proper authority to protect you from the crazy guy. For now, you may file a restraining order on the crazy claim jumper if you choose and if applicable. You may seek and press additional charges if your boundaries are (easily) proven in court. After the courts legally interpret your boundaries correctly to the defendant, any trespass or criminal actions thereafter by him will be easier to prove. You would also use the County Sheriff if/when it comes to this.


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