December 29, 2015

PLF attorneys discuss the Hawkes case

By Brian T. Hodges Senior Attorney

Earlier today, Jurist published an article from PLF attorneys Brian T. Hodges and Damien Schiff in which they discuss the importance of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc.

The article can be read here.

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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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