Thursday, November 17, 2016

‘Frivolous’ lawsuit costs Oregon rancher $13,700, judge rules

An Oregon livestock producer must pay $13,700 to the Oregon Department of Agriculture for filing a “frivolous” lawsuit against the agency, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. Magistrate Judge John Acosta found that ODA is entitled to collect attorney fees from William Holdner, a rancher in Columbia County who filed a complaint claiming he’s not subject to state water quality regulations. Before his problems with water quality regulations began, Holdner raised about 500 cow-calf pairs on his property. Holdner was repeatedly cited by ODA for pollution violations on his property. He was found guilty of felony water pollution charges in 2012 and sentenced to five days in jail and $300,000 in penalties. In response, he claimed to be exempt from state and federal water regulations, arguing that ODA had abused its power in regulating his operation under the Clean Water Act. In 2009, 2012 and 2015, Holdner filed lawsuits arguing that his “land patent” prohibited the enforcement of water regulations on his property, but those claims were all rejected by federal judges...more

No comments: