Attorneys weigh in on Bundy's legal woes - 8 News NOW

Attorneys weigh in on Bundy's legal woes

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LAS VEGAS -- Rancher Cliven Bundy has had an ongoing battle with the federal government for years and the costs he faces are adding up.

A court order gave the Bureau of Land Management the power to take Bundy's cattle. The latest order was issued last October, but recertifies the court's decision from 1998. The feds backed off  of the latest roundup because of safety concerns. Bundy's cattle was returned to him, but since he didn't follow the court order, he could still face consequences. 8 News NOW talked with some local attorneys to get their perspective on the case.

"The order of the court isn't going to go away," attorney Tom Pitaro said.

Pitaro, a Las Vegas attorney, is not connected to the Bundy case, but he says Bundy should follow the court order. It's the third order issued since 1998 ordering Bundy to remove his cattle from federal land. The order specifically says Bundy can not physically interfere with the cattle roundup.
 
"It is entirely up to the judge's discretion to make a determination based on how he or she will handle someone's abject violation of their order," attorney Marc Saggese said. He is also not connected to the case.

The court gave Bundy 45 days to remove his cattle back in Oct. 2013 and it wasn't until April 2014 that the BLM started rounding up the cattle. The BLM says Bundy owes around $1 million in grazing fees.

The cattle roundup lasted about one week with the BLM confiscating about 400 head of cattle, but the cattle were returned to Bundy on Saturday after hundreds of Bundy supporters, some armed, showed up to protest the roundup.

"You just can't have people going out with guns and telling them they're not going to obey a valid federal court order," Pitaro said.

"I think this has gotten so much attention that if it continues, it will force final resolution," Saggese said.

Pitaro is convinced Bundy will be brought into court, but Saggese isn't so sure.

"Clearly this case represents the age old fight between states' rights and the federal government's rights," he said.

One thing is clear, the fight is far from over.

The BLM had no comment, but a spokesman says the agency will work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially.

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