Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure Civil Remedies

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Yes, Virginia, It Is Possible To Win A Fee Award Against An Environmental NGO

Last week, Judge Walter Smith, Jr., ordered the Sierra Club to pay more than six million dollars – yes, you read that correctly – to Energy Future Holdings and Luminant Generation, after finding that the Sierra Club’s Clean...more

CEQA: Are time extensions for nonconforming uses exempt from review?

Is an extension of time for an existing nonconforming use exempt from CEQA review? A new writ action just filed proposes to resolve that issue....more

Fifth Circuit Reins In Trend of Expanding ESA Liability for Remote Harm

The Fifth Circuit's recent decision in The Aransas Project v. Shaw, No. 13-40317 (5th Cir. June 30, 2014), clarified two points relating to the element of causation in claims under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). ...more

Lake County, Illinois “Hat Trick”* Defeats Religious Meditation House in Federal Suit

In MAUM Meditation House of Truth v. Lake County, Illinois, No. 13-cv-3794 (N.D. Ill. 2014), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that Lake County, Illinois did not violate MAUM...more

District Court Denies Motion to Enjoin Delta Water Transfers

Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion brought by environmental groups to enjoin a water transfer project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta). Plaintiffs...more

Proximate Cause and Foreseeability Are Required Elements of Endangered Species Act Liability: Fifth Circuit Reverses Injunction...

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed an injunction that would have prohibited the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) from issuing new water withdrawal permits affecting an estuary where...more

New Tools in the Zoning Game

As of July 1, 2014, Virginia landowners will have a new tool to use in the zoning game. On April 6, 2014, Governor McAuliffe signed SB 578 into law. The bill provides a damages remedy for applicants seeking zoning or...more

Second Circuit Denies Request to Stay NYISO’s New Capacity Zone

On June 4, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit (2nd Circuit) denied emergency stays of two Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders implementing a new capacity zone (NCZ) in New York (“NCZ...more

When Judges Met Jazz: The First Decade Of Jazz Law

In honor of African American Music Appreciation Month, sometimes known as Black Music Month, we recall the first judicial decisions in which jazz music was the subject of a legal dispute. Although jazz originated in the late...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community et al.

The U.S. Supreme Court (“Court”) issued a 5-4 decision Tuesday in a case with implications for Tribal-State relations and the resolution of disputes under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq....more

The Koontz Decision; Back to Florida

In the recent landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Mgmt. Dist., 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), the Court majority held that exactions sought by local governments, which are not rationally...more

CT Law of the Land

AC35464 - Yorgensen v. Chapdelaine - In this new Appellate Court decision, the plaintiff was issued a building permit to construct a barn, but town officials thereafter also observed grading adjacent to the wetlands...more

California District Court Finds Biological Assessments Inconsistent And Enjoins Caltrans' Project

In Souza v. California Department of Transportation, No. 13-cv-04407 (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2014), plaintiffs sought to enjoin a project proposed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to modify U.S. Route 199...more

Breathing New Life Into Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment

On Dec. 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania addressing the injunction entered by the Commonwealth Court enjoining the enforcement of a...more

Divisional Court Overturns Environmental Review Tribunal Decision and Allows Wind Project to Proceed

In an important decision for stakeholders in the Ontario renewable energy industry, the Divisional Court of Ontario overturned the July 2013 decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal (the ERT) in Ostrander Point. In its...more

High Speed Rail Decision on Track for Review at Court of Appeal

Last Friday, Governor Brown’s administration (the “Petitioners”) filed a petition for extraordinary writ of mandate and application for temporary stay with the California Supreme Court, challenging Superior Court Judge...more

Government Need Not Satisfy Nexus and Proportionality Tests if Dedication Requirement Does Not Otherwise Constitute a Taking

Landowners routinely have to give up something in return for a government agency’s granting a discretionary permit. However, there are limits, as the government agency cannot typically demand conditions that are not...more

Victory on Permit Conditions Does Not Justify Fee Award

In Norberg v. California Coastal Commission the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided a unique case arising from a permit dispute with the California Coastal Commission (“the Commission”)....more

No Private Attorney General Fees for Homeowner

In Donald A. Norberg v. California Coastal Commission (4th Dist., Div. 3, 10/25/13, G047522) ___Cal.App.4th___, 2013, the court of appeal reversed the trial court’s award of private attorney general fees because the...more

California Supreme Court Set to Hear First Post-Koontz Takings Case

As reported by our colleague Robert Thomas on inversecondemnation.com, the California Supreme Court granted the California Building Industry Association's (CBIA) petition for review in California Building Industry Association...more

Landmark Decision Issued on Proper Environmental Baseline under

In a recent landmark California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") decision, Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (2013) 57 Cal.4th 439 (Smart Rail), the California Supreme Court issued its...more

Update: Attorney Fees Provision in Government Code Section 65589.5(k) is Limited to Affordable Housing Developments

An applicant who wanted to subdivide a parcel of land into residential lots sought an award of attorney fees after he sued a county’s board of supervisors and won approval of his application. The court of appeal held that...more

A Cautionary Tale on Alleging Precondemnation Damages Versus a De Facto Taking

Eminent domain cases typically revolve around a "date of value" – the date on which property is valued in determining the amount of just compensation the condemning agency must pay. That date is set by statute; typically, it...more

Pa. Litigation Update

This summer was anything but a sleepy period for decisions from Pennsylvania courts on issues important to the oil and gas industry. Here are summaries of four cases issued in July and August - one from the Third Circuit...more

A Jury in an Eminent Domain Action Must Decide if “Reasonable Probability” Exists that Government Will Require Dedication of Land...

A city planned to realign a truck route and offered the landowners compensation that valued the property as undevelopable agricultural land instead of its current zoning of light industrial. The city reasoned that the...more

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