Wednesday, March 16, 2011
U.S. v. BATOR
Before: FARRIS, LEAVY, and BYBEE, Circuit Judges.
Anthony Bator appeals pro se from the conviction and fine imposed for constructing a road without an approved operating plan, in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 261.10(a), and damaging a natural feature or property of the United States, in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 261.9(a).
Bator contends that the Forest Service lacks jurisdiction to regulate his mining operations. To the contrary, 16 U.S.C. §§ 478 and 551 granted to the Secretary of Agriculture the "power to adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding mining operations within the national forests." United States v. Weiss, 642 F.2d 296, 298 (9th Cir. 1981).
Bator also contends that the he was entitled to an indictment by a grand jury, proceedings before an Article III judge rather than a magistrate judge, and a jury trial. Because the offenses charged were only petty offenses, a grand jury was not required, see Fed. R. Crim. P. 58(b)(1); no consent was required for the trial before the magistrate judge, see 18 U.S.C. § 3401(b); and there was no right to a jury trial, see Blanton v. City of North Las Vegas, 489 U.S. 538, 543 (1989).
Bator also contends that based on certain comments and rulings made during trial, the magistrate judge should have recused himself. The record does not reflect that there was any "extrajudicial source" of bias or a "high degree of favoritism or antagonism" requiring recusal. Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 555 (1994).
Bator's remaining contentions lack merit.