Preserved Property Owner Does Not Have Standing to Challenge Approved Use by Neighboring Preserved Property Owner

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Photo of Chebeague Island in Maine, source Gkuriger via wikicommons

 

This post is not legal advice

I have written a few times on how the legal principle of standing can impact your ability to bring a lawsuit. In many cases, standing can require showing an injury-in-fact, causation relationship between the injury and the action of the defendant, and likelihood that the injury can be solved by a favorable decision and is not merely speculative. But in some cases, the legislature may limit who can have standing even further. For example, with conservation easements, a state legislature may limit those who can enforce the conservation easement to the holder of the easement (such as a land trust). The Maine Supreme Court recently found landowner of preserved property did not have standing to enforce the easement on neighboring property (Estate of Robbins, 2017). Continue reading

Court of Appeals Finds State’s Right-to-Farm Law is Unconstitutional As Applied

 

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Source USGS via Wikicommons

 

This post is not legal advice.

All fifty states have some version of a right-to-farm law that provides defenses to agricultural producers for lawsuits they are committing a nuisance in his/her operations. In November 2016, the Court of Appeals of Iowa upholds a lower court’s ruling that Iowa’s right-to-farm law is unconstitutional as applied to a neighbor claiming a neighboring hog farm is a nuisance and awarding damages to the neighbor. For those unaware, finding a state’s right-to-law unconstitutional as applied to a neighbor is a unique to Iowa. Iowa’s courts have found the state’s right-to-farm law is unconstitutional when applied to neighbors there first. At this point, no states have followed Iowa’s lead and found their state’s right-to-farm laws unconstitutional as applied to neighbors there first. Continue reading

Ag Law in Review: 2016 Edition

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Photo by Sarah Swenty, USFWS

This post is not legal advice.

Although we have started 2017 off, I want to take a look back at some of the big legal developments in the area of agricultural law. We saw a few important developments in 2016 in the field and will probably see more in 2017 with a change in presidential administrations. Keep reading here, and this site will work to keep you updated on those recent developments in 2017. Continue reading

Federal Magistrate’s Findings in Beef Check-off Case Could Have Lasting Impacts

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Photo Source Keith Weller commons.wikimedia.org

 

This post is not legal advice

Many of you have heard the slogan “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” in advertising to promote the use of beef in a healthy diet. But if you were a beef producer would you consider this type of generic beef advertising to be a violation of your First Amendment rights? Would you want this generic advertising to promote American beef? Or beef produced in your home state? A federal lawsuit touching on these issues has been progressing in a federal district court in Montana this year, and a federal magistrate judge has recently recommended to the federal court to allow a challenge to the beef advertising be allowed to continue.   Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) and United Stockgrowers of America brought the action against Secretary Vilsack and USDA.     The beef check-off program created by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act) and the check-off pays for the generic advertising to promote beef. The Act allows qualified state beef councils to collect the beef check-off dollars. These qualifying state beef councils must agree to follow similar promotional activities as the federal Cattlemen’s Beef Production and Research Board (Board). In Montana, the group is the Montana Beef Council.

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Lack of Standing Impacts States’ Ability to Challenge California’s Egg Law

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U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

This post is not legal advice

As the year draws to an end, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has released opinions on two agricultural law cases. I posted recently on the court’s ruling affirming a lower court’s decision to invalidate a local ordinance covering pesticide applications in Hawaii. The next decision is California’s law requiring all eggs sold in the state to meet California animal welfare standards. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the lower court and dismissed the case for lack of standing.

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