An almost helpful judicial review decision


Author:  Damien M. Schiff A federal judge in South Carolina earlier this month ruled in Deerfield Plantation Phase II-B Property Owners Association, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that a "negative" jurisdictional determination (JD) issued by the Corps under the Clean Water Act is judicially reviewable. … ...


Feds say dry creek bed is not a “water of the United States” after all

March 08, 2013 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

In a surprising move, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did an about face in the lawsuit PLF filed on behalf of Santa Fe property owners Peter and Frankie Smith.  As our initial press release, blog post, and video explained, the Smiths ran afoul of the Feds when they cleaned up trash, dead trees and other … ...


President's weekly report — September 20, 2013

September 20, 2013 | By ROB RIVETT

Environment — Right to Judicial Review Some things should be simple.  But when government is involved, they’re not.  We filed our notice of appeal in Hawkes v. United States.  Back when we were arguing the Sackett case, most folks thought it was a no-brainer: if the EPA tells a family that their home site is … ...


President's weekly report — January 10, 2014

January 10, 2014 | By ROB RIVETT

Environment — Clean Water Act We filed this reply brief in Hawkes v. United States, the case where a peat farmer is trying to establish that his property is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Corps because it is not connected to a navigable waterway.  The owner is trying to challenge the Corps’ Jurisdictional Determination in co ...


The President's Weekly Report

October 31, 2014 | By ROB RIVETT

Environmental Law – Judicial Review of Jurisdictional Determinations This week we asked the United States Supreme Court to review a decision of the Fifth Circuit holding that landowners have no right to challenge a determination by the United States Army Corps of Engineers that their land is subject to the agency’s permitting control under ...


President's weekly report — March 5, 2015

March 06, 2015 | By ROB RIVETT

Environment — Victory for common sense in permitting reviews The California Supreme Court issued this opinion in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, a case dealing with environmental reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA.) That statute, much like its federal anal ...


President's weekly report — April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015 | By ROB RIVETT

Wetlands — Major victory in the 8th Circuit The 8th Circuit handed us this major victory today in Hawkes v. United States.  The decision is a wonder to read because the court “got it.”  It understood that requiring a landowner to seek a wetlands permit when the landowner doesn’t think there are any jurisdictional wetlands ...


President's weekly report — June 12, 2015

June 12, 2015 | By ROB RIVETT

California Supreme Court to rule on forced housing subsidies We’re expecting a ruling on Monday in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, the challenge to San Jose’s affordable housing mandate.  While it admitted that it had not shown that the construction of new homes creates a need for more subsidized low-inco ...


President’s weekly report — June 19, 2015

June 19, 2015 | By ROB RIVETT

Bad news on property rights from the California Supreme Court To celebrate the Magna Carta’s 800th birthday, the California Supreme Court issued this unanimous and depressing opinion on the state of property rights in California.  California Building Industry Association v. San Jose involves the city’s requirement that builders of 20 o ...