Don't write to Judge Molloy !!

Dear blog readers, this decison came when I was out of town and just barely had an Internet connection. I am back home now.

I see number of folks have said they will contact the judge and thank him.  I appreciate the sentiment. However, it must be understood that under the law, any comments, arguments, or evidence can only be submitted by the parties to the lawsuit.  This allows other parties to the lawsuit to contest any submissions.  Any letters to a judge about a case from nonparties are inappropriate.






  1. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    however I wonder if the plaintiffs lawyers can make use of the comments in the star tribune/billings gazette. Especially the ones advocating breaking the law and resorting to violence.

  2. RE Chizmar Avatar
    RE Chizmar

    Ralph, I respectfully disagree. Judges work for the people, Judges are paid by the people. The public has every right to voice both its dissatisfaction and praise for decisions that Judges make. Criticizing or praising a Judge is not, to my knowledge, per se, illegal. Obviously, parties and lawyers to the case should not contact the Judge ex parte or write a Judge praising or criticizing an opinion. Notwithstanding the above, you probably have a better understanding of the political landscape out there and I would certainly give you deference if you believed a simple letter praising rational thought would harm the cause. I can assure you this, those who lost this “little” battle will deluge this Judge with letters “criticizing” — and this is a kind word — his decision.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    RE Chizmar,

    It is clearly acceptable for people to praise or damn judges and their decisions.

    My warning is that it is not acceptable to try to communicate directly with a judge (as you say ex parte) about a case before them when you are not a party to the case — neither plaintiff, nor defendant, nor intervenor.

  4. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    RE Chizmar

    As someone who has worked with the wolf issue for a long time, I have to agree with Ralph. It is never appropriate to communicate directly with the judge with an ongoing issue. It doesn’t matter that the judge might (probably has and will) receive a lot of hate mail from the anti-wolfers for his decision, which is based in law and science. It’s best to stay out of it. Instead, write a letter to the Billings Gazette or the Casper Star-Tribune. This issue isn’t going away any time soon.



Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan