Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Remedies

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Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Hits the Courts

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which involves the proposed twinning of the existing Edmonton-Burnaby pipeline and the expansion of a marine terminal, was the subject of a number of court decisions last year involving...more

Sunnyvale’s Large Capacity Magazine Ban Survives Appeal - Preliminary Injunction Denied

In 2013, the voters of the City of Sunnyvale (“City”) approved a measure restricting high capacity magazines. The measure was contested, and in Fyock v. City of Sunnyvale (9th Cir. 2015) ___ F.3d ___, the 9th Circuit upheld...more

Highlights from the Admiralty Law Institute

The 25th Biennial Admiralty Law Institute kicked off with great success on March 11, 2015. Informative presentations continued on March 12-13, building on the theme of this year’s conference, “Symposium on Maritime Personal...more

First Appellate District Court Expands Recorded Easement By Granting Implied License

On January 28, 2015, in Richardson v. Franc, 14 C.D.O.S 941 (2015), the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District ruled in favor of an easement holder by granting an irrevocable license permitting additional...more

The New Jersey Supreme Court has reopened the doors to Affordable Housing Litigation

The New Jersey Supreme Court has unanimously held that the administrative process run by COAH in which municipalities show compliance with affordable housing obligations is no longer working and municipalities are no longer...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC18928 - Rathbun v. Health Net of the Northeast, Inc. - In Connecticut, the Department of Social Services manages the federal Medicaid act and awards contracts to Medicaid managed health care providers. The defendant...more

Injunctive Relief for Building Encroachment. Do I Have to Move the House?

When a land owner mistakenly builds a house or other building or structure that encroaches on a neighbor’s property, what is the remedy? Does the offending land owner have to physically remove the structure from the...more

Ninth Circuit to Consider Effect of Hobby Lobby in Land Use Context

We previously reported on the lawsuit filed by Harbor Missionary Church against San Buenaventura, California involving the City’s denial of a conditional use permit to allow the Church to continue to operate a soup kitchen in...more

Pa. Supreme Court Denies Equitable Tolling of Oil and Gas Lease’s Primary Term

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ruled that the primary term of an oil and gas lease would not be equitably tolled during the pendency...more

Beware of Citizen Suits for Storm Water Violations

In recent months several private organizations have sent letters to California businesses informing them that they are in violation of their storm water permits and threatening to sue them under the citizen suit provision of...more

Major Verdict in Electric Utility Easement Case

More than five years after starting in state court before later restarting in federal court, a federal court jury in Missouri has issued a major verdict in litigation concerning the use of electric utility easements for...more

Court Will Not Halt Horizontal Drilling Operation to Reach Adjacent Lessee’s Land

Using offsite locations for horizontal drilling is becoming increasingly popular as surface use becomes difficult. In Lightning Oil Inc. v. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, the San Antonio Court of Appeals looked at what can...more

Undisclosed Change in Building Height Requires Supplemental EIR

Ventura Foothill Neighbors v. County of Ventura (12/15/14, 2d Civil No. B254120) - The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California has ruled that (i) a 20% increase in the actual height of a...more

The Need For Expert Evidence To Make Out An Innocent Landowner Defense Under CERCLA

As every litigator knows, evidence almost always tells a story that is untidy and riddled with loose ends. This was illustrated by a recent innocent landowner case in California — Coppola v. Smith. There, a company had...more

Construction Case Law Update - January, 2015

FLORIDA STATE CASES - Slavin Doctrine; Design Contracts - Under the Slavin doctrine, a subcontractor design company was not liable despite negligently designing intersection traffic lights that resulted in a fatal car...more

Equal Access To Justice Act: Why Prevailing On Only 1 Out Of 3 Claims In Oregon Forestry Case Can Still Be Quite Rewarding

Generally, a failure rate of two-thirds would indicate that what you are doing isn't profitable. However, when dealing with environmental law, that clearly isn't the case. In Cascadia Wildlands v. Bureau of Land Management,...more

First District Publishes Decision Rejecting CEQA Challenges To Cal Fire’s Approval of Gualala Area Nonindustrial Timber Management...

In a decision filed December 2, and later ordered published on December 30, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the Mendocino County Superior Court’s judgment denying a petition for writ of mandate challenging a...more

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Coastal Act Decision with Takings Implications

In September 2014, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District issued a surprising decision, finding that even if an applicant maintains that it is accepting imposed permit conditions “under protest” and expressly...more

St. Anthony, Minnesota to Pay $200,000 to Settle RLUIPA Suit Brought by Department of Justice

Earlier this year, we reported on the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) against the City of St. Anthony Village, Minnesota (“City”) over the City’s denial of Abu Haraira Islamic Center’s (“Center”)...more

High Speed Rail Moves Forward Without CEQA Review

The Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) issued a declaratory order in a 2-1 vote last Friday, finding that the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) is categorically preempted by federal law, as it relates to the...more

Township of Bridgewater, NJ to Pay $7.75 Million to Settle RLUIPA Suit Against Muslim Group

The Township of Bridgewater, New Jersey has agreed to pay nearly $8 million to settle a lawsuit over claims that its denial of Al Falah Center’s proposal to construct a mosque violated the Religious Land Use &...more

Listen to the Words In the Injunction Battle

In Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko E&P Offshore, LLC, the surface and 1/6 of the minerals of the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area is owned by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 5/6th of the minerals is owned by the...more

Womble Client Wins Stormwater Case in Charlottesville

Another victory in Central Virginia for Womble Carlyle. Last week, Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins ruled in favor of the Shops at Stonefield (also known as Albemarle Place), finding the stormwater...more

Louisiana Town Files Second Suit to Block Oil and Gas Well

The Town of Abita Springs filed a suit on December 1, 2014, seeking a declaratory judgment to block the drilling of an oil and gas well about 40 miles north of New Orleans into the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Earlier this year,...more

What CEQA Gives, The Legislature Can Take Away: Third District Holds Special Legislation For Sacramento Kings Downtown Arena...

The Third District Court of Appeal, in a published opinion filed November 20, 2014, affirmed the trial court’s order denying plaintiffs’ application for a preliminary injunction seeking to halt construction of a massive new...more

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