U.S. vs Wallace – Mt Lemmon


U.S. vs Christine Wallace – Mt Lemmon, Coronado National Forest

In this case from Tucson, a mild-mannered, churchgoing legal secretary was prosecuted for two violation notices she received at Mt Lemmon on the Coronado National Forest. After the charges were dismissed in a landmark decision by Federal Magistrate Judge Charles Pyle declaring the Mt Lemmon fee illegal, the Forest Service appealed. The appeal was granted by Federal District Judge John Roll, who reinstated the charges and sent the case back for trial.

Just days before the trial, the Forest Service dropped one of the two violation notices from the charges against Wallace, cutting off her option of an appeal to the 9th Circuit that would have clarified the question of where the Forest Service has the legal authority to charge a fee.

Wallace was convicted on the remaining charge (which contained no appealable legal issues) and fined the maximum for a first offense, $100. Subsequent offenses carry penalties up to $100,000 and 1 year in prison.

The legal filings in the case and a sampling of media coverage of the case can be read below.

Legal filings U.S. vs Wallace
US vs Wallace Motion to Dismiss
US vs Wallace Govt Response to Motion to Dismiss
US vs Wallace Reply to Govt Response
US vs Wallace Court Order Dismissing Charges
US vs Wallace Govt Appeal
US vs Wallace Reply to Govt Appeal
US vs Wallace Govt Response to Reply to Appeal
US vs Wallace Court Order Granting Appeal and Reinstating Charges
US vs Wallace Motion to Reconsider Order Granting Appeal
US vs Wallace Govt Motion Requesting Trial Before District Judge

Media U.S. vs Wallace
2006 02 16 Backcountry Shakedown
2006 09 06 Federal Court Ruling Could End Fees
2006 09 15 How Much Can You Charge For Nature?
2006 09 17 Wallace Decision Shows Fees Are Unpopular
2006 12 15 Tucson Media Turn on Forest Service
2007 03 01 Fee Flurry
2007 09 06 A 100 Dollar Walk In The Woods
2007 09 11 Fighting Fees On Public Lands
2007 09 20 Forest Service Wins Next Round