Montanore Minerals Corp. v. Blake

Under Colorado River, district court should have abstained from ruling in a suit to condemn easements and other rights as against the defendants’ mining claims, since a state court had already declined to enter a decree that the mining claims were invalid. The Court of Appeals holds that the district court erred in not abstaining in this case under Colorado River.  The suit sought to condemn easements and other rights as against the defendants’ mining claims so plaintiff could complete a tunnel.  Plaintiff had initially sued in state court seeking a decree that defendant’s mining claims were invalid.  When it lost that suit, it filed this federal action to condemn portions of the mining claims.   Since the state court already had jurisdiction of the dispute, state law governed its resolution and plaintiff was likely forum-shopping, Colorado River abstention was proper.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Smith, M., J.); August 16, 2017; 2017 WL 3497455

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