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Louisiana v. Lee

Citation: 17 ELR 20209
No. No. 83-6126, 25 ERC 1335/(E.D. La., 11/18/1986) Attorneys fees awarded

Plaintiffs are entitled to attorneys fees and costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) for their successful suit to compel the Corps of Engineers to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for shell dredging permits, because the position of the United States was not substantially justified. The court notes that plaintiffs clearly prevailed on the merits of their claims and that the presence of the state of Louisiana as a plaintiff ineligible to recover costs neither bars other plaintiffs' recovery nor constitutes a "special circumstance" barring EAJA relief. Placing the burden of showing that the United States' position was substantially justified on the defendants, the court holds that defendants' failure to develop an EIS for shell dredging operations was not reasonable.

[The underlying decision is published at 16 ELR 20828.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Nicholas C. Yost
Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin
2101 L St. NW, Washington DC 20037
(202) 785-9700

Counsel for Defendants
John Volz, U.S. Attorney
Hale Boggs Federal Bldg., 500 Camp St., New Orleans LA 70130
(504) 589-2921