Rose and Mark's Legal Defense Fund

$1,745 of $45,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 7 months
Colorado Conservationist Faces Criminal Charges for Recreating on Public Lands in San Juan County, Utah

"In April 2017, Mark Franklin and his wife, conservation advocate Rose Chilcoat, were charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors  after Franklin admitted he closed a gate on a livestock enclosure in southern Utah. Closure of the gate didn’t matter as a section of the fence was down allowing cattle access."  

Click here for detailed background and information on this nightmare saga . This is clearly a politically motivated, retaliatory, malicious prosecution.

As of August 2018 all charges against Rose were dismissed  but Mark's case was moving towards a January 16, 2019 trial date. That date was vacated by the court and now he has an April 1st court date. This is exactly two years to the day from the alleged "crime". 

Here are some links to media  about our case.

Here are the updates to our criminal case  and fundraising efforts from June 2017 to March 2018. Other updates can be read below.

Via Generosity.com/YouCaring.com and offline we raised more than $75,000 from 575 generous people in 12 months. We've spent more than $120,000 so far on our case. Generosity was acquired by YouCaring which was then acquired by GoFundMe so we have created new fundraisers to continue to raise funds as our case continues to drag along.

Your help with sharing our plight and with our criminal defense costs means everything. Thanks to all!
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It’s long past time for another update on the continuing saga of ‘cattle gate’. For those who might have missed it, Rose’s charges have all been dismissed. The Utah Court of Appeals ordered dismissal of the final two charges (1 felony attempted wanton destruction of livestock and 1 misdemeanor trespassing) and when County Attorney Laws delayed in doing so, Judge Torgerson made the dismissal with prejudice. This means Rose can breathe easier again. However, Mark’s case continues to march towards his January 16, 2019 trial date. It still sucks to be us!

As of this week there is a new wrinkle to report that potentially bodes well for Mark’s upcoming trial. Check out this Salt Lake Tribune article https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2018/12/05/yet-another-twist-san/

After all this time, Utah law enforcement is finally investigating our detainment by the ranchers near the Lime Ridge corral as a crime. At Monday’s motion/evidentiary hearing in Monticello, San Juan County Deputy Wilcox could not give any reason for failing to return Mark’s calls the week of the incident in early April 2017 when Mark twice called him. A lot of time, money and heartache could have been saved by all involved had Deputy Wilcox called.

Also, Judge Torgerson approved an order on December 3 excluding any reference by the state to evidence relating to or connected to Rose’ political activities including her correspondence with the BLM concerning livestock grazing, her involvement with environmental organizations and her marriage to Mark.

It is unreal to consider that this has been our lives for more than 20 months! As the state’s case continues to be exposed as baseless, it is clear to all that this is indeed the retaliatory, malicious prosecution we described in our first crowdfunding post.
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Finally, the news we’ve been waiting for! Rose is free at last from this unfounded criminal prosecution. On Thursday afternoon the Utah Court of Appeals issued its decision ordering all charges against Rose be dropped. Woo Hoo!!

At last Monday’s hearing the judges were highly critical of San Juan County’s decision to move forward with charges against Rose and ordered the state (representing the case for the county as it went up on appeal) to explain why the charges should not be dismissed. The state chose not to oppose dismissal. This is fantastic news for Rose.

Mark is still in the crosshairs of the hate of San Juan County and will have to go to trial to clear his name. We will update you as his case moves forward.

We still have legal expenses as this nightmare continues. The support of so many is humbling and has kept us strong. Please continue to share our story with your networks.

Remember, this could happen to any of you who dare support conservation and recreate on your public lands in San Juan County, Utah.
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A good news/bad news day.

The good news is the Utah Court of Appeals accepted Rose’s request for review, but specific only to the question of whether there was enough evidence presented at the preliminary hearing to support taking her to trial. They are considering summary disposition (no additional review/oral arguments) and giving the parties until July 31 to file written response as to why they should not summarily reverse the denial of the motion to quash as it applies to Rose. This is an unusual response but one that is looking good for Rose.

On a sad note, the court denied Mark’s request to review whether the lower court erred in determining there was sufficient evidence to charge Mark. That means Mark will be going to trial even though there is no evidence he acted criminally. No date is set, but at least the trial will be in Price (Carbon County) instead of San Juan County.

Thanks for all the positive energy so many sent our way. We continue to believe that justice will be served and both our cases will be resolved in our favor.
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Our attorneys represented us well today in oral arguments before the Utah Court of Appeals. Now we await announcement of their decision by tomorrow morning.

For those who want more details you can listen to today's proceedings at this link https://www.utcourts.gov/opinions/streams/?court=coa

Keep the positive energy flowing! Thanks to all for your support through this ordeal.

Posted Sunday July 8, 2018

Tomorrow our attorneys will give oral arguments in front of the Utah Court of Appeals. This will aid the court’s decision regarding taking our case under review before trial. Send positive energy and thoughts our way.

There’re some great articles and information about our case in the most recent newsletter of Great Old Broads for Wilderness that can be found at https://www.greatoldbroads.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018-Summer-Broadsides-web.pdf

Posted Saturday, June 30, 2018

As Independence Day draws near we can’t help but reflect on our case and what it could mean to lose one’s ‘independence’ through malicious prosecution in our judicial system. May justice prevail for us.

We have some new interesting developments from the Utah Court of Appeals. They have asked for oral arguments from our attorneys to clarify some items in our Request for Review. This is good. We are off to Salt Lake City for a hearing on July 9th. Keep thinking positive thoughts for us and share our crowdfunding link. Thanks to all.

Posted Friday, June 15, 2018

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$1,745 of $45,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 7 months
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