179 F.3d 1268 (10th Cir. 1999), 98-8038, United States v. Robbins

Docket Nº:98-8038.
Citation:179 F.3d 1268
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff--Appellee, v. Harvey Frank ROBBINS, Jr., Defendant--Appellant.
Case Date:June 14, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 1268

179 F.3d 1268 (10th Cir. 1999)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff--Appellee,

v.

Harvey Frank ROBBINS, Jr., Defendant--Appellant.

No. 98-8038.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

June 14, 1999

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming, (D.C. No. 97-CR-92-1)

John Michael McCall and L. Eric Lundgren (Karen Budd-Falen of Budd-Falen Law Offices, P.C., Cheyenne, Wyoming, Robert T. Moxley of Gage & Moxley, Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Thomas R. French of Thomas R. French, P.C., Ft. Collins, Colorado, on the briefs), of Budd-Falen Law Offices, P.C., Cheyenne, Wyoming for Defendant-Appellant.

David A. Kubichek, Assistant United States Attorney (David D. Freudenthal, United States Attorney, Cheyenne, Wyoming, with him on the brief), Casper, Wyoming for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before PORFILIO, MCWILLIAMS, and BALDOCK, Circuit Judges.

I.

BALDOCK, Circuit Judge.

Defendant Harvey Frank Robbins purchased the High Island Ranch in Hamilton Dome, Wyoming, in 1994. Prior to that date, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) obtained an easement across the ranch from Defendant's predecessor in interest. The agency, however, failed to record the easement. Thus, the easement was not enforceable against Defendant. BLM officials contacted Defendant and attempted to obtain another easement across his property. Defendant refused to grant the easement.

After Defendant refused to grant the easement, his relationship with BLM deteriorated. A series of events occurred which culminated in Defendant being charged by information with two counts of knowingly and forcibly impeding and interfering with a BLM employee, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 111. Defendant was tried before a jury, which after deliberating for twenty-five minutes, returned a verdict of not guilty. Pursuant to the "Hyde Amendment" of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, The Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1998, Pub.L. 105-119, 111 Stat 2440, 2519, Defendant sought attorneys' fees and costs on the grounds that the government's position was vexatious, frivolous and in bad faith. The district court denied the request for attorneys' fees and costs on April 8, 1998. Defendant filed a notice of appeal fifty-four days later on June 9, 1998.

II.

At the outset, we must determine whether we have jurisdiction to proceed to the merits of...

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