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Libby Rod & Gun Club v. Moraski

ELR Citation: 11 ELR 21003
Nos. No. CV-78-40-M, 519 F. Supp. 643/16 ERC 1631/(D. Mont., 07/30/1981) On remand

The court denies a motion to vacate an injunction, 8 ELR 20807, prohibiting construction of a reregulating dam, ruling that defendants are bound by res judicata. The court rejects defendants' argument that plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the dam due to the Supreme Court's recent decision that private parties have no implied right of action under §10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, finding that opinion not controlling. In addition, the court notes that because the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court, 9 ELR 20274, ruling that Congress had not authorized the dam and that plaintiffs had standing, they are bound by res judicata. A subsequent change in the law is not grounds for vacating a final judgment on the merits. Defendants are also not entitled to Rule 60(b) relief since they have failed to demonstrate that it is no longer equitable to apply the judgment. Moreover, since Congress has not authorized the dam, the defendants have failed to show changed circumstances justifying the modification of an injunction.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
James H. Goetz
Goetz & Madden
P.O. Box 1322, Bozeman MT 59715
(406) 587-0618

Counsel for Defendants
Shelton C. Williams
George, Williams & Benn
510 Glacier Bldg., Missoula MT 59801
(406) 728-4310

Robert T. O'Leary, U.S. Attorney
173 Fed. Bldg., Butte MT 59701
(406) 723-6561

Counsel for Intervenor Western Environmental Trade Ass'n
Carl Davis
Shulz, Davis & Warren
122 E. Glendale, Dillon MT 59725
(406) 683-2363