Victory for California water rights builds on PLF’s Duarte case

July 13, 2015 | By TONY FRANCOIS

In the course of California’s long drought, state regulators have taken ever more aggressive measures to gain control of local and private water supplies, under cover of emergency declarations from Governor Brown, and emergency regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board. Some of these measures are aimed at requiring addit ...


Duarte Nursery submits its due process case against the Army Corps of Engineers

October 23, 2015 | By TONY FRANCOIS

Today, on behalf of Duarte Nursery, Pacific Legal Foundation filed a motion for summary judgment against the Corps of Engineers on the company’s due process claims against the agency. The Corps of Engineers ordered Duarte Nursery to stop farming its land, without giving the company a hearing. This violates the Fifth Amendment’s prohib ...


Federal bureaucrat’s response to request for hearing : “just a ranting fishing expedition”

November 30, 2015 | By TONY FRANCOIS

Due Process is a basic element of the rule of law, giving form to the principle that government must act in accord with the law, even when enforcing the law. In the simplest sense, due process is what prevents the government from making secret decisions that deprive you of your life, liberty, or property. This tends … ...


PLF and client John Duarte featured in American Farm Bureau video on Clean Water Act enforcement abuses

December 22, 2015 | By TONY FRANCOIS

Today the American Farm Bureau released this video highlighting Pacific Legal Foundation’s fight on behalf of California family farming company Duarte Nursery, Inc., to vindicate farmers’ due process rights in environmental enforcement. In addition to its due process lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers, Duarte Nursery is also a plain ...


PLF’s Tony Francois discusses Duarte Nursery case on air with Modesto AM 1360’s Trevor Carey

January 05, 2016 | By TONY FRANCOIS

This afternoon I joined Trevor Carey on AM 1360 in Modesto, California, to talk about Pacific Legal Foundation’s due process and retaliation case on behalf of Duarte Nursery against the Army Corps of Engineers. We also talked about PLF’s legal challenge to the EPA’s new “waters of the United States” regulation, under w ...


Pacific Legal Foundation client John Duarte's case featured in LA Times

January 15, 2016 | By TONY FRANCOIS

Earlier this week, no less than the Speaker of the House highlighted two of Pacific Legal Foundation’s Clean Water Act cases as examples of overzealous enforcement by federal bureaucrats: Andy Johnson‘s fight against the EPA over his stock pond, and Duarte Nursery‘s battle with the Army Corps of Engineers over plowing his farm. To ...


What if the Clean Water Act is unconstitutionally vague?

April 04, 2016 | By JONATHAN WOOD

As regular readers know, PLF argued a case in the Supreme Court of the United States last week, U.S. Army Corps v. Hawkes Co., concerning whether property owners can have their day in court when the federal government declares their land subject to federal control. During the oral argument, Justice Kennedy — long-considered the “swing ...


For earth day, federal bureaucrats pillage the earth

April 22, 2016 | By TONY FRANCOIS

Please check out my piece at the Flash Report for Earth Day. Therein, using PLF’s case on behalf of Duarte Nursery as an example, I show how government does less for our natural resources and environment than its agencies claim. Every bureaucracy issues slick press releases and publishes libraries full of glossy reports full of charts ̷ ...


Federal court rules that plowing without an Army Corps permit violates Clean Water Act

June 13, 2016 | By TONY FRANCOIS

Last Friday we received a disappointing decision in Duarte Nursery v. Army Corps of Engineers. The court ruled that the company violated the Clean Water Act by plowing its property, even though the Act exempts normal farming practices. And, the implementing regulations state that plowing is never even subject to the Act, so long as … ...