Friday, November 1, 2013

General Electric Co. v. Jackson case brief

General Electric Co. v. Jackson case brief summary 
610 F.3d 110 (D.C. Cir. 2010)

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment to appellees, an agency administrator and agency, after appellant company challenged on due process grounds a statutory scheme that allowed the agency to issue orders, known as unilateral administrative orders, directing companies and others to clean up hazardous waste for which they were responsible. The company appealed.

The company had received multiple unilateral administrative orders (UAO), issued under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) statutory scheme by the agency, which directed companies to clean up their hazardous wastes. Under that scheme, a potentially responsible party (PRP) could comply and, after the cleanup, seek reimbursement from the agency, as contemplated by 42 U.S.C.S. § 9606(b)(2)(A), or refuse to comply and allow the agency under 42 U.S.C.S. § 9606(b)(1) to file a federal trial court enforcement action, or have the agency cleanup the site and seek to recover costs, as contemplated by 42 U.S.C.S. § 9607(c)(3). It sued to challenge CERCLA's UAO regime and alleged a violation of the Fifth Amendment because the regime allowed the agency to issue orders without a hearing or, alternatively, because issuance of the order could have harmful financial consequences.


  • The appellate court rejected both due process challenges, the first because a company could refuse and force the agency to seek a remedy in the federal trial court and the second because the possible financial consequences were not sufficient to merit due process protection.


The appellate court affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the agency administrator and agency.

Recommended Supplements for Administrative Law Examples & Explanations: Administrative Law, Fourth Edition
Administrative Law and Process: In a Nutshell (Nutshell Series)

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