BREAKING NEWS: Sanctions sought against County attorney Nixon and former Sheriff Rieger in Burgan case

Courtesy photo Access to a ditch headgate via an easement is the subject of a lawsuit by William Burgan against Carbon County Attorney Alex Nixon and former Carbon County Sheriff Tom Rieger.

On Thursday, May 18, just after Carbon County Attorney Alex Nixon and former Sheriff Tom Rieger responded to William Burgan’s headgate access easement lawsuit in their appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court, Burgan filed for sanctions against Nixon and Rieger. The Motion for Sanctions charges that Nixon and Rieger, while alleging violent tendencies of Burgan in their appeal, gave evidence for a different William Burgan.

In a lawsuit filed by William Burgan against Nixon and Rieger for allegedly failing to recognize his headgate access easement and citing him for criminal trespass, Nixon and Rieger appealed a District Court finding of no immunity for either of them. The other issues of the lawsuit are ongoing.

Nixon is represented by Raymond Kuntz and Rieger is represented by Jock West of West Law Firm in Billings. Burgan is represented by Matthew Montforton of Bozeman.

On May 12, the attorneys jointly continued to argue their appeal in response to Burgan’s challenge with a further document filed. However, before a decision was reached on the appeal, Burgan filed a Motion for Sanctions against the county attorney and former sheriff.

The Motion claims that Nixon and Rieger “violated rules 10 (a) and 46 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure by falsely alleging in their reply brief that Appellee Burgan conceded during a workers compensation case in 2003 to being a violent man.” The claim states, “The claimant identified as “Bill Burgan” in the workers compensation case is not the same person as Appellee William Burgan.” It is argued that the “violations go beyond mere errors.”

It is also charged the workers comp case was never part of the original record nor mentioned in the appeal’s opening brief. Sanctions are sought in the form of monetary sanctions in an amount necessary to compensate Burgan for the costs and fees incurred in the motion. See full story Thursday, May 25.