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Desertpilot

Why file a claim?

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So I've been watching a particular piece of ground for seven years. The claim owner has filed incorrectly every year with different errors. (Incorrect claim measurements, claiming over patented/wilderness, incorrect legal description) Over the past seven years his paperwork has been dorked up and the blm has rejected his paperwork. His filing for this year made it through the system but only because he put the wrong section in the legal description and the claim is shown miles away on LR2000. So over the past year I've been doing my home work trying to fit a claim legally between two patented properties and a wilderness boundary. I also walked the area to confirm there was no claim posts. I placed my posts a couple of months ago and filed my paperwork with the BLM. I got my paperwork back with a AMC number and thought all was good. Then I get a note on my door at home saying I claimed over his claim. I asked to see his location notice and showed him that his legal description shows his claim in another part of the mountains because he wrote the wrong section number plus a 40ac. claim overlaps wilderness and patented land. I called the BLM and confirmed that there were no other active claims where I filed and that the other claim was in another section. I asked if there was anything they could do since there is no stakes in the ground and the paperwork was written with a location not anywhere close to mine and they said they could provide no help in the issue. It bums me out that someone can tie up a claim for years with incorrect paperwork and no stakes in the ground and there is nothing you can do about it. I guess its cool with the BLM to allow people to file for one location and claim another.

Edited by Desertpilot
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Thanks for the point out to the other thread Lipca. In the past seven years this guy has never had a valid claim at the location I posted so I cant see how he could counter sue for mineral trespass if he has no stakes in the ground or a location notice with the correct legal description? His map on the location notice also plots 80ac even though its a location notice for 40ac. Would be nice if the BLM would actually check location notices for errors instead of just taking $155.00 and issuing a claim number.

I told the guy how to fix his paperwork and suggested how to actually legally claim the spot. I will be pulling my stakes and location notice and not pay my 2018 maintenance fee. To me its not worth the fight especially since he is already showing up at my house. I guess the real burn for me is I did all the leg work required through all the legal channels (LR2000, county recorder, and verified no stakes in the ground) to verify the ground was open and you still can be in the wrong for posting a claim. I will think pretty hard with the next location I find whether to claim it or not, it doesn't seem to be worth the hassle. It may be best to work a open location covertly and move on. 

 

Edited by Desertpilot
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Why don't you show up at his house with some of your work buddies.  :brows:

I hope you find a solution.  Unfortunately, it might be that last sentence you typed.

Good luck out there.

Let me know when you need someone to look out of the right side of the plane.

:4chsmu1:

Luke

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Keep your Legal Claim and File charges on this person if he shows up on the claim.  Sounds like a paper hanger.  Setting up a false Claim to sell some day.  He's the one obligated to prove you wrong.  

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Ether this guy really doesn't know what he's doing or he's just Bodging Up paper work to flog.

 

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I've been trying to hold my tongue on this thread but the comments are sort of flying in the face of reality.

To begin with I know both Desertpilot and the other individual. Many of you know both of them. In fact several people on this and other forums have been invited to work this claim through the years. Both of these guys are honest men in my experience. I'm pretty sure when things calm down and some thought goes into this there can be a resolution.

As Desertpilot pointed out he's seen this claim worked for seven years. I can tell you this claim has been worked by the same family across two generations. The person Desertpilot is talking about supports his family by mining this and a few other claims. He is a miner. He has moved car sized boulders on this particular claim to get to the gold. As you can imagine he is not a small or weak man. I'm sure some of you are now thinking "Hey isn't that...?" I'd rather not get into sharing names or details here so lets just leave that for PMs between yourselves or whatever. Suffice it to say it would be unwise to consider force or violence as a possible solution. Children are involved also so any contact should remain peaceful in intent. It's not just about law but common sense, no claim is worth endangering the lives of anyone. Please leave the macho bluster behind, as I see Desertpilot wisely already has.

I'm not even going to approach the issue as to whether either one of these men have a valid claim. As I have pointed out many times the law is clear that only a court can decide claim validity disputes. Not the BLM and certainly not another prospector, miner or locator can determine that. Only a court. Claim validity is decided by a court based on only one criteria - the law of possession. Not paperwork, filing dates or stakes, although those can be considered when a court determines possession.

The person who Desertpilot was challenging on this claim is not required to maintain stakes or monuments. No claim owner in Arizona has to maintain those although it would be wise for any claim owner to attempt to keep his claim well marked. As Desertpilot remarked he may just "work a open location covertly". An unmarked claim is not that far from a location worked covertly.

Desertpilot has become proficient at researching, prospecting and locating productive mining claims. He has learned the skills needed to become successful. The claim being discussed here is productive. As Desertpilot pointed out the person who is mining this location is not good at paperwork, maps or dealing with government requirements.

The courts through the last 140 years have many times recognized the fact that often miners are better at mining than filing paperwork. As a result they have a history of being very lenient with poor location work and descriptions as long as the paperwork is recorded and filed on time. The locator's intent is often the deciding factor in determining whether a location is valid when the paper description is in dispute.

I don't see a good outcome here for either claimant in court. Hard feelings between two miners in the same area is not good for other miners either. If I were asked by both parties what might be the best solution I would suggest that they talk it out. One party already contacted me on this and that is probably where the note Desertpilot referred to started. It appears they have now spoken to one another. Considering their various skills there might be a good outcome if they cooperated on ensuring a good claim location and paperwork and some mutual mining. That's just a suggestion, I'm sure two honest men can come to a resolution that suits both of them with some effort.

Edited by clay
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Hey Clay,

This was more a vent about the system. I've already pulled my notice and stakes. I've been cool with him since he contacted me and I've texted detailed instructions on how to fix his paperwork. I just hope he acts on my suggestions before someone challenges his claim.

DP

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I can't see the guy working the claim for years without proper paper work flying with the BLM .   "Well he Possessed it all this time. "   People have lost claims after claims simply because they failed to file Accurate paper work.  I have no dog in the fight but Right is Right and Wrong is  Well You Know Not going to Fly with the BLM.

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9 minutes ago, Desertpilot said:

Hey Clay,

This was more a vent about the system. I've already pulled my notice and stakes. I've been cool with him since he contacted me and I've texted detailed instructions on how to fix his paperwork. I just hope he acts on my suggestions before someone challenges his claim.

DP

You are a good man. Thanks for working with him.

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5 minutes ago, homefire said:

I can't see the guy working the claim for years without proper paper work flying with the BLM .   "Well he Possessed it all this time. "   People have lost claims after claims simply because they failed to file Accurate paper work.  I have no dog in the fight but Right is Right and Wrong is  Well You Know Not going to Fly with the BLM.

There is a lot more to this than will ever be discussed in public homefire. Suffice it to say that when one actively works a claim they have 30 days after a claim is closed to re locate. Junior locators have 30 days after location to take the senior locator to court to challenge their prior claim. It's not as simple as paperwork.

The BLM is not in charge of determining claim validity. I think you assume the BLM have more power than the law grants them.

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On 8/3/2017 at 8:52 PM, clay said:

...reality...

I'm sooo glad we have a 'you' here to explain and clarify this kind of stuff..!

I do have a couple of questions based on assumptions I'm hoping you can answer:

1) Is it correct to assume not-Desertpilot filed his paperwork and paid his fees on time during all of the preceeding seven years..?

2) If it's true the BLM rejected his paperwork all those years except the most recent, how was not-Desertpilot able to continue working his 'claim' those years..? Is it because since the BLM had received a timely payment each year and during those times no one challenged the validity of the claim the BLM just sorta 'let it slide', or what..? Further, if the paperwork had been rejected, wouldn't not-Desertpilot have received some sort of mailed notice informing him he had X days to amend his paperwork or vacate..? -- with the follow-up to that once again being the BLM 'letting it slide' because no other party tried to claim that area and it therefore remained dispute free throughout..?

Further further, even if another filed on that location wouldn't the Law Of Possession kick in, or does that not even come into play until a court proceeding takes place..?

Bottom line is I'm trying to figure / find out how not-Desertpilot could continue working 'his' 'claim' if his paperwork got rejected each year, and the only thing I come up with is he paid on time..

What am I missing or not getting here, Clay..? Is it they rejected his paperwork but not so severely the penalty was loss-of-claim but rather something like "you need to get in here to correct these errors, otherwise your report card is gonna get sent to your aunt instead of your mom" type of thing..? Or was there no paperwork rejection to begin with..?

Definitely would appreciate some clarification, thanks..

Swamp

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Hey Swamp,

There has been four attempts to file on this location. Two were a error in measurement and two are a error in location. The measurement issues were rejected and the two with the wrong location are active. Plus the active claims are not recorded with the county. Where I got jammed up is when you check LR2000 or the county recorder the ground appears open because the active notices are written for another canyon in the mountain range. I gave it a year to see if he really filed for the other canyon and was done with the claim. After seeing that he made no correction I assumed he was done with the location and decided it was safe to locate a couple of claims. It was a good lesson in how grey claim ownership can be and what the BLM really does with your location notice.

Ive been doing some research on the regs and Clay is right it would have been messy in court. I wouldn't have fought it anyway that's not the kind of person I am. Besides its a big desert and there is still lots of gold out there.

DP 

Edited by Desertpilot
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So the Bottom line is the BLM is not doing their job.

Edited by homefire

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Most states (maybe all of them for all I know) delegate authority to the counties to establish a property recording system.  The federal government acknowledges the authority of states to establish their own recording systems.  The general rule I am familiar with is premised on "legal notice", i.e., in cases where two or more individuals have a dispute over ownership of property, whoever won the race to the recorder's office and can demonstrate adequate "notice" prevails over the late comers.  Mineral rights are a form of property.  So it is important to record a mining claim.  It is also important to do so correctly.  I agree with Clay that miners over the years have shown that they are much better at mining than at filling out paperwork.  When looking for open, unclaimed land a person is required to perform due diligence.  The concept of due diligence, though, has its limitations.  A person is not required to read another person's mind or to guess at what another person intended to do.  Rather, due diligence requires a person of ordinary prudence to rely on what was written and recorded.  If another person files his claim in the wrong county, for example, how can this be sufficient notice for a person examining land in a different county?  Likewise, if the questioned notice articulates the wrong section and there is no accompanying map diagram or stakes on the ground to give rise to reasonable notice, then the person doing his due diligence simply has not been put on sufficient notice.  The mud elephant wading through the sea, for example, can leave no tracks, despite the best of his intentions.  Every case, of course, has facts unique to it alone and these facts often can help determine the outcome or legitimacy of disputes.  But the rules are a different story.  There can only be one set of rules that everyone is expected to follow.

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There is no failure of the BLM homefire. Their job is to receive and file informational notices and fees from the locators (done), void mining claims located on lands not open to location (done) and prevent undue and unnecessary damage to the surface resources (done). Once again there is no authority for the BLM to decide the validity of a mining claim when there is a dispute between locations. BLM has no legal right to control mining itself, it can only act to prevent undue and unnecessary damage to the surface resources.

There is also no race to record a location. There has never anywhere been a "first to record" requirement in mining law - State or Federal. Federal law allows 90 + 1 days to record and file a new mining location. Some states have a shorter period within which to act to make a record.

The actual date of location on the ground establishes the location date - not any filing or recording date. The date of location is the date that a monument establishing the location and extent of the claim is erected no matter when the public record or informational filing is accomplished.. As long as a locator fulfills the required public recording and informational filing within the specified time their location on the ground is secure. If there is a dispute among claimants as to who located first the recording and filings can be supporting evidence but the location on the ground is always the final evidence of the location date and extent.

Here is an important Supreme Court Case from 1919 which clearly outlines this principle, as many other cases did before and since.

Quote

The steps in that procedure and their order are well established. The first of them is the discovery of mineral-bearing rock within the claim, and it must precede location. The subsequent steps-marking the boundaries, posting notice, recording-are the declaration of title; the patent is the final evidence of it.

Yosemite Mining Co. v. Emerson was concerned with a regulation of the State of California which prescribed the manner of the location of a claim. The regulation had not been conformed to, and the validity of the location was attacked on that ground by a subsequent locator who had had notice of the claim, he contending that there was forfeiture of it.

The contention was rejected, and we said that to yield to it would work great injustice and subvert the very purpose for which the posting of notices was required, which was, we further said, "to make known the purpose of the discoverer to claim title to the" claim "to the extent described and to warn others of the prior appropriation."

The California requirement, had no other purpose than "to warn others of the prior appropriation" of the claim, and such is the principle of constructive notice. It -- constructive notice -- is the law's substitute for actual notice, and to say that it and actual notice are equivalents would seem to carry the self-evidence of an axiom.

The possession of the claimed deposit and the posting of a location monument (markings) on the ground are the actual notice and establish the date and extent of the location. The County Recording is the constructive notice of the already located claim and the BLM filing is a required informational administrative notice that a mining claim has been located. Each has their place but the actual notice on the ground establishes the location date in all cases. That's why I suggest that locators always have an uninvolved witness to their monumenting and staking. Monuments and stakes can, and often do, disappear but a solid witness always trumps a junior locator trying to backdate their location.

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Seems to me they are failing as Administrators of the Land.   That is their function in life.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior that administers more than 247.3 million acres (1,001,000 km2) of public lands in the United States which constitutes one-eighth of the landmass of the country.[

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2 hours ago, homefire said:

Seems to me they are failing as Administrators of the Land.   That is their function in life.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior that administers more than 247.3 million acres (1,001,000 km2) of public lands in the United States which constitutes one-eighth of the landmass of the country.[

I too believe they are failing as administrators of the land homefire. Most of the reason I believe that is I see a constant effort to overreach their authority. Often their job description is ignored in favor of a personal agenda. Welcome to big government - they are here to help you as long as you don't mind them bending (and breaking) the rules to bring you a different and better world (whether you want it or not).  :grr01:

I don't see any agency overreach or failure in this case. If you do please point it out. I always enjoy a fresh perspective on the facts. :D

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I don't know of any overreach with this one but sure as ell are in other cases.  The Bundy's being a UGLY ONE.  They are Failing to maintain accurate Records of the mining claims.   Dang,  If the guys location say one side of the mountain and other records state other locations, They have Failed.   Things like that should be caught in a simple rudimentary  review of the records I would think, Eaa?   I mean come on.   This day and age I would expect at least a yellow or red flag from a computer  program like LR2000 on those discrepancies.    I know LR2000 using UNIX are limited but even so it could be done.  My bet is the program does do it and someone's not paying attention. 

LOL, NORAD still uses UNIX based computer and their tracking millions of bits of space junk floating around.  Mining claims don't wiggle and move hundreds of miles a hour.

Edited by homefire
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Homefire,

I think we have a misconception on what the BLM does with our location notices. After calling them last week it became obvious all they do is record your claim. They don't cross check your legal description with your map or even check if it overlaps wilderness. I'm willing to bet I could overfile one of my active claims and it won't set off any red flags in their system. Also after talking with BLM and the county recorder my perception on what due diligence is have changed. In the past I thought checking LR2000, county recorder, and walking the ground looking for stakes was good, but it's not. This event has made me reevaluate how I look for open ground. It has been a good lesson for me and hope it helps others from getting jammed up.

 

DP

Edited by Desertpilot
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I have NO Misconceptions.  LOL   Their sole purpose in life is the Administration of the Public Lands.   Any thing I said just fall under the Realm of Administration of the Lands.  They are Not fulfilling their own Mission Statement.  https://www.blm.gov/about/our-mission

When the BLM assigns a Serial Number to a claim they are in affect Transferring Property Rights. Yes or No ?   Without insuring a accurate description of said property the whole process is bogus.    This is what you got caught up in.  Would you say they are doing a bang up job of Administering Our Public lands or did they Muff it ?

All I been saying is they are NOT Doing Their Jobs. 

 

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43 minutes ago, homefire said:

When the BLM assigns a Serial Number to a claim they are in affect Transferring Property Rights. Yes or No ?

No -

Mining claims are a self initiated claim of right. Locators have had that right since 1866. That right was granted by law to the discoverer of a valuable mineral deposit. The BLM transfers nothing.

The BLM is entitled to an informational notice when you make your claim of right location since 1976. 110 years without the BLM being involved at all with mining claims. The serial number they assign is a case file number not a claim number. The serial number is an internal administrative device to help track the case file. Case files, whether created for mining claims or other administrative duties, are classed as either ACTIVE, CLOSED, PENDING or VOID. No rights are created or transferred by the opening of an administrative case file.

Edited by clay
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Ok.   Until that Serial Number is generated with your name associated to it Said Property is under the control of the BLM, Yes ?  Until such time those minerals belong to the Public . The Mineral Rights are Transferred to the Claim Owners  .  Property is being Transferred.  If  ever the Patent Process should  be funded again  the Transfer of  Real Property could take place again. 

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The real property of the mineral estate is transferred when you monument and stake your location homefire. It is at that moment your personal property and will remain your property as long as you occupy and maintain your claim. There is no waiting period or agency approval involved. The serial number only designates a particular case file at that State BLM office.

The serial number has no connection to mineral rights. There are BLM serial numbers with associated case files for many types of cases besides mining claims. Look around the LR2000 and you will see case files with serial numbers for many different reasons.

The valuable mineral deposits on the public lands open to location are reserved for prospectors and locators. The BLM can't have mining claims nor can it sell or lease valuable mineral deposits. The surface of a mining claim belongs to the United States until it is patented. Until then the BLM has a minor duty to the surface estate. They are tasked only with preventing undue or unnecessary damage to the surface resources. The BLM's other functions are administrative only - not political or ministerial.

All appropriation of valuable minerals on the public lands open to location are self initiated by regular citizens under the grant from Congress. The BLM can not and does not have a hand in that appropriation. They can not approve or disapprove valuable mineral ownership on those lands.

The BLM does have a role in leasing and sale of common minerals on the public lands but that has nothing to do with mining claims or the valuable mineral discovered there. Sand and gravel can not be claimed.

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Digesting.  LOL

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