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Stockslager v. Carroll Elec. Coop. Corp.

Citation: 6 ELR 20388
No. No. 75-1752, 528 F.2d 949/(8th Cir., 01/07/1976)

Holding that NEPA overrides the federal anti-injunction statute, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses and remands a lower court's denial of a preliminary injunction against state court condemnation proceedings related to the construction of a federally-funded high voltage transmission line. 28 U.S.C. § 2283 bars federal court injunctions staying state court proceedings except "as expressly authorized by Act of Congress." In view of its strong statutory language and underlying congressional purpose, NEPA clearly constitutes such an authorization. To hold otherwise when state court proceedings are in derogation of the NEPA requirements placed on federal agencies by Congress would be to accord the statutory language less than its full sweep. Without ruling on the merits of the issue of whether an environmental impact statement is required, the court remands the case for further proceedings. Conditioning injunctive relief on the plaintiffs' posting a $10,000 bond is held to be within the trial court's sound discretion.

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants
John B. Hawley
Route 8
Fayetteville AR 72701
(501) 521-1535

Counsel for Federal Defendants-Appellees
Walter Kiechel, Jr. Acting Asst. Attorney General
Department of Justice
Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2718

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
James F. Dickson
Crouch, Blair, Cypert & Waters
14 East Center Street
Fayetteville AR 72701
(501) 442-8233

For himself, Webster & Stephenson, JJ.