Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gordon v. Norton case brief

Gordon v. Norton case brief 322 F.3d 1213

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiffs, an individual and a corporation, challenged defendant Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) control of gray wolves introduced under the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan. Seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, they filed suit against the FWS and defendants, the Secretary of the Interior and the Department of the Interior, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of the claims.

FACTS: Plaintiffs alleged violations of the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause and the regulations promulgated under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The district court dismissed the takings claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and the ESA claims as not yet ripe for review. There was no reason to reverse the presumption of Tucker Act applicability to plaintiffs' takings claims for the loss of physical property. Because a Tucker Act remedy was available, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and the takings claims was to be filed in the Court of Claims for compensatory relief. Application of the Ash Creek factors required dismissal for lack of jurisdiction over plaintiffs' ESA claims. The case did not involve purely legal issues, there was no final agency action as the FWS had not finalized its interpretation of regulations pertaining to the control of depredating wolves, the direct and immediate impact from the agency inaction was uncertain, and addressing the merits of the case would not have increased the efficacy of the administration of the ESA.

CONCLUSION: The appellate court affirmed the dismissal of the claims.

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