Surprising Unanimous Decision by Supreme Court a Victory for Private Property Owners

In brief: Court decision finds that individuals and companies have the right to sue the Army Corps of Engineers for restrictions placed on the use of private property under the Clean Water Act.

The Army Corps of Engineers had cited the Clean Water Act as a reason to limit use of personal and company-owned land and water, leading to a North Dakota company to file suit. The company insisted that the wetlands, which was hoped to be used to grow peat, was nowhere near a major waterway nor navigable waters, as the Corps of Engineers had cited. Because of laws passed by this agency, the company, and others that had been cited on other exaggerations of the Clean Water Act, had no legal recourse aside from paying the fines or going through lengthy permit approval processes. The court found that the company, Hawkes Co., did indeed have the right to sue the government entity and fight it’s seemingly arbitrary decision which cited private property as a protected wetland.

 

Read more about the case and what it may mean for other private property owners:

http://www.pacificlegal.org/When-regulators-label-property-as-wetlands-owners-may-seek-judicial-review

https://www.pacificlegal.org/releases/release-5-31-16-hawkes-1-1442-victory 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-allows-challenges-to-clean-water-act-restrictions-1464705519

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