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Los Angeles, City of v. Santa Monica Baykeeper

ELR Citation: 31 ELR 20735
Nos. Nos. 00-55396, -55397, 254 F.3d 882/(9th Cir., 06/26/2001)

The court dismisses for lack of jurisdiction a city's interlocutory appeal in a citizen suit brought by an environmental group alleging Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act violations by the city. A district court signed and entered the city's proposed order for an interlocutory appeal, and the parties filed petitions with the Ninth Circuit seeking certification of their proposed interlocutory appeals. Before the Ninth Circuit accepted the parties' appeals, the district court withdrew its certification order and denied the city certification to seek an interlocutory appeal. The court first holds that the district court properly rescinded its certification order. The Ninth Circuit did not issue an order granting the city permission to bring an interlocutory appeal and, thus, did not divest the district court of jurisdiction over the issues to be raised in the interlocutory appeal until more than two months after the district court had entered its rescission of certification for the city's interlocutory appeal. Thus, the district court was free to exercise its inherent procedural power to rescind its certification order at any time prior to that date. The court also holds that the district court's rescission order did not lack merit. The district court did not violate the authority granted to the court under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, did not deny the parties an opportunity to be heard on the issue, and did not violate the law of the case doctrine.

Counsel for Petitioner-Appellant
William L. Waterhouse
City Attorney's Office
200 N. Main St., Los Angeles CA 90012
(213) 485-5408

Counsel for Respondents-Appellees
Eric A. Amador
Kimble, MacMichael & Upton
Fig Garden Financial Center
5260 N. Palm Ave., Ste. 221, Fresno CA 93792
(559) 435-5500

Trott, J. Before Tashima and Fletcher, JJ.