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Hovson's, Inc. v. Secretary of the Interior

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20792
Nos. No. 81-2580, 711 F.2d 1208/19 ERC 1751/(3d Cir., 07/13/1983) Aff'd

The Third Circuit affirms the district court decision, 12 ELR 20065, upholding the Secretary of the Interior's approval of New Jersey's Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) for the Pinelands area against challenges based on the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 (Parks Act). The district court granted defendant summary judgment on plaintiffs' claims that approval of the CMP was based on an insufficient environmental impact statement and violated conditions in the Parks Act. The district court also abstained from deciding plaintiffs' taking claims under the United States Constitution and state and local law pending resolution of state administrative and judicial proceedings. Initially, the Third Circuit rules that it has jurisdiction to hear the appeal of the district court's order despite that court's invocation of the abstention doctrine. Next, the court rejects appellees' motion to disqualify appellants' counsel for conflict of interest. Turning to the merits, the court simply affirms the lower court ruling, endorsing the arguments relied upon by the district judge.

A separate opinion concurs reluctantly in the ruling on the court's jurisdiction over the abstention decision and dissents on the majority's decision to rule on the disqualification motion.

[A related decision is published at 13 ELR 20705 — Ed.]

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (21 pp. $3.25, ELR Order No. C-1315).

Counsel for Appellants
Robert V. Paschon
Paschon, Feurey & Kotzas
1005 Hooper Ave., Toms River NJ 08753
(201) 341-3900

Myrna P. Field, Joseph W. Marshall III
Mid-Atlantic Legal Foundation
Suite 600, 1521 Locust St., Philadelphia PA 19102
(215) 545-1913

George R. Gilmore
Hiering, Gilmore & Monahan
P.O. Box 1540, Toms River NJ 08753
(201) 240-6000

Counsel for Appellees
Jerome B. Simandle, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 511, Trenton NJ 08608
(609) 989-2190

John M. Van Dalen, Deputy Attorney General; James J. Ciancia, Richard M. Hluchan
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, CN112, Trenton NJ 08625
(609) 292-4919

Higginbotham, J.