May 31, 2016

Hawkes U.S. Supreme Court Victory Reaction

By Hawkes U.S. Supreme Court Victory Reaction

PLF Director of Litigation Jim Burling provides instant reaction and analysis after PLF’s 8th straight U.S. Supreme Court victory in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes

Hawkes Company is a family-owned business in Minnesota that harvests peat moss, for landscaping. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improperly claimed jurisdiction over the property as regulated wetlands. This put Hawkes in the untenable position of (1) abandoning all use of the land at great loss; (2) spending several hundred thousand dollars to seek an unnecessary federal permit; or (3) using the land without federal approval at the risk of $37,500-a-day fines and criminal prosecution. When Hawkes challenged the Corps in court, lower courts dismissed the case as unripe for review. But the Supreme Court disagreed, holding that a Jurisdictional Determination is a binding legal decision subject to immediate judicial challenge.

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