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Collier v. Springdale, City of

Citation: 14 ELR 20584
No. No. 83-1567, 733 F.2d 1311/20 ERC 2270/(8th Cir., 05/08/1984)

The court holds that a 42 U.S.C. §1983 action for taking of his property via sewage pollution of groundwater without just compensation or due process is unavailable to appellee because state law provides adequate mechanisms for compensation and injunctive relief. The City of Springdale had discharged sewage into a dry creek bed on its property, and the sewage traveled through underground crevices in the Arkansas limestone to pollute the springs that feed appellee's trout pond, killing his fish. The court holds that the absence of notice, a hearing, and compensation prior to this taking does not constitute a violation of appellee's constitutional rights, despite the fact that the sewage discharge was part of established procedure and not random or unauthorized conduct. An adequate mechanism for after-the-fact compensation satisfies due process requirements. The court holds that the Arkansas municipal tort immunity statute does not apply to claims for just compensation, and thus the state provides an adequate mechanism for compensating appellee.

Counsel for Appellants
Thurston Thompson
Herdlinger, Jacoway & Stanley
113 E. Emma St., Springdale AR 72764
(501) 751-6464

Charles Davis
Davis & Bracey
P.O. Drawer 6, Springdale AR 72764
(501) 751-3314

Counsel for Appellee
George E. Butler Jr.
120 W. Spring St., Fayetteville AR 72701
(501) 442-5211

Joined by Gibson and Bowman, JJ.