The Supreme Court of Iowa recently found that a dispute brought by two groups against the state of Iowa lacked standing and was not an issue the courts could decide. The two groups claim that excessive nitrate levels from agricultural runoff into the Raccoon River had impaired recreational uses of the river and increased costs to purify the water for drinking. The decision, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement v. State of Iowa, can be found here.
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 →
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.