I wanted to share with the gold mining community through this forum, a frustrating situation that I have been dealing with. I am 44 years old, have been mining since I was 18. This is the first time I have been so disapointed in dealings with other miners, that I feel it is time to bring it out in the open for others to beware of.
A mining club from Northern CA is trying to push my family out of 80 acres we claimed a year ago. The club's name is UPI, United Prospectors Inc. and their President is a Mr. Don Siegel from Modesto, Ca.
I am currently in the process of preparing a court case against the UPI Club for mineral trespass, theft, legal costs and punitive damages.
The UPI club filed over our claim 5 months after our valid location and then tried to convince me with a cheesy letter, from their Claim's Director, a Mr. Allen "Ron" Coleman, that our claim was not valid and the property was now UPI's.
Oh, by the way, about the same time they sent me this letter informing us of our having lost our claim to them, they turned their entire club loose upon our property with an outing to it on that same weekend.
This club has largely ignored all my communication calling upon them to cease mining activities and it refuses to acknowledge or respond to factual, well documented, expertly compiled information that clearly points out they are mistaken in regards to their claim's status as compared to my valid, senior claim.
If any of you fellow miners have ever had to go to this level with a claim dispute, you know that just to fight it, is an investment in itself. Attorney's fees and court costs, etc. does not make it an easy fix.
This is not a case of my missing a filing for "maintenance fees" or anything like that. I am also not acting as a "sore-loser" over some other error which invalidated my claim, allowing UPI to legally take it over.
On the contrary, UPI flat-out wants this property and I would guess that they are mad that I filed on it first, when it was open, and they did not. However, 5 months later when they realized they blew it, then they try to steal it from us.
They are more than trying to steal this property away however, they are blatantly on the property removing gold! The digging continues.
Their location notice, besides being filed over an already established valid claim, is so poorly described and laid out, that it would be considered legally "invalid in itself", due to its multiple fatal flaws, even if our claim hadn't been there already!
I have a professional Mining Engineer with 30 years of experience in this field, who has reviewed all of the information and he has no doubt that UPI's claim is entirely without merit and mine is entirely valid. He also has no doubt that in court our family's position will prevail and that UPI will be severly chastised and fined and that the actual locators will be personally liable.
UPI's President, Don Seigel, along with Ron Coleman, James Madden, and David Norman, all club officers and/or locators in this claim jumping case, have ignored certified letters which clearly explain all the facts of this dispute. They in particular, but also UPI as a mining Club, and all of its members, will be shown in a very unfavorable light once this is filed and the suponeas begin to fly.
I hope none of you ever have to deal with this kind of situation. It sucks! Worse though is finding out that there are unethical gold miners out there who are running clubs and believe it's ok to stomp upon and ignore the little guy, as they do whatever they want.
In case you haven't noticed, I am not afraid to name names and bring this to light as I am more than confident about the facts here. Any suit against me for slander by UPI, would only serve to justify my position.