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Ward v. Coleman

Citation: 6 ELR 20722
No. No. CIV-76-0303-E, (W.D. Okla., 07/16/1976) Plaintiff's motion to convene three-judge court denied

In an interlocutory order, the court denies plaintiff's motion to convene a three-judge court to hear its challenge to the Coast Guard's assessment of a $500 civil penalty pursuant to § 311(b)(6) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 in connection with an oil spill reported by plaintiff's company. The statutory provision does not violate the Fifth Amendment no matter whether the party challenging the penalty is a corporation or an individual. The assessment is a civil penalty included in an essentially regulatory scheme. Defendant's motion to dismiss is denied, but his alternative motion to consolidate the case with the government's action to enforce the penalty is granted.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Stephen Jones
Jones & Gungoll
P.O. Box 3339
Enid OK 73701
(405) 233-4321

Counsel for Defendants
David L. Russell, U.S. Attorney
O. B. Johnston, III, Asst. U.S. Attorney
4434 U.S. Courthouse
Oklahoma City OK 73102
(405) 236-2623

Bruce J. Chasan
Department of Justice
Washington DC 20530
(202) 737-8200