The Latest on an Arizona rancher's effort to get an identical cattle brand revoked by the courts (all times local):
An Arizona rancher who fought the state to retain sole use of his cattle brand has won big in the Arizona Supreme Court.
The court says in a unanimous Thursday ruling that the state violated decades-old law that bars identical cattle brands from being issued.
Eloy rancher David Stambaugh called the decision that also awards him his attorneys fees "awesome." The 50-year-old has owned the Bar 7 brand since he was 10 years old.
He objected when the state Agriculture Department allowed a California cattle company to use the identical brand in a slightly different location on its cattle in Arizona.
The ruling overturns a lower court decision saying the department had discretion to issue identical brands. Stambaugh says leaving that decision in place would lead to confusion about ownership.
The Arizona Supreme Court is set to decide if the state can allow an identical cattle brand to be used by two ranchers.
The court plans to release its decision Thursday in an appeal from Eloy rancher David Stambaugh of a 2016 ruling siding with the state. The 50-year-old has owned the Bar 7 brand since he was 10 years old.
Stambaugh objected when the state Agriculture Department allowed a California cattle company that bought land in Arizona to use the identical brand in a slightly different location on its cattle.
Two appeals court judges said the department had discretion to issue the brand. One judge said registering identical brands wasn't legal.
Stambaugh says leaving the lower court ruling in place will lead to confusion and questions about ownership.