May 2012 Archives

Development Rights and CEQA Challenges: Court of Appeal Upholds 3-Year Tolling Agreement in CEQA Lawsuit - Cause of action governed by a 30-day limitations period

May 29, 2012

by Matthew Hinks

The California Legislature and the courts have recognized that challenges to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), if allowed to drag on, would impede the decisions of public agencies regarding land use. For this reason, CEQA imposes very short limitations periods and requires CEQA cases be given priority in both the trial courts and the courts of appeal.

But in a potentially troubling new case, the California Court of Appeal explicitly blessed the type of unreasonable litigation delay the Legislature protected against in enacting CEQA.

Continue reading "Development Rights and CEQA Challenges: Court of Appeal Upholds 3-Year Tolling Agreement in CEQA Lawsuit - Cause of action governed by a 30-day limitations period" »

Litigant's Failure to Establish Basis for Property Tax Base Transfer Highlights the Need to Exercise Special Care in Administrative Proceedings to Ensure that Judicial Remedies are Preserved

May 22, 2012

By Matthew Hinks

May a property owner who sells property to a non-governmental entity as part of a government redevelopment project under the threat of eminent domain transfer the tax base of the original property to replacement property? Not on the record presented by the plaintiff in Duea v. County of San Diego, 204 Cal. App. 4th 691 (2012).

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California U.S. District Court's Nationwide Injunction Affects Mining, Oil and Gas, and Timber Activities on National Forests

May 1, 2012

by Scott Castro

This article was first published by Law360. © 2012 Portfolio Media, Inc.

In mid-March, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a nationwide injunction that significantly affects mining exploration activities within lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Until this ruling, the Forest Service has relied on a June 4, 2003 agency regulation (located at 36 C.F.R. Part 215) (the "215 Regulation") that exempted from public notice, comment and administrative appeals activities deemed to be categorically excluded ("categorical exclusions" or "CEs") from the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA").

In a March 19, 2012 summary judgment ruling in Sequoia ForestKeeper v. Tidwell, however, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill invalidated the 215 Regulation's exemption for categorical exclusions.

Continue reading "California U.S. District Court's Nationwide Injunction Affects Mining, Oil and Gas, and Timber Activities on National Forests" »