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Hutcherson v. Lauderdale County, Tenn.

ELR Citation: 33 ELR 20168
Nos. No. 00-5686, (6th Cir., 04/09/2003)

The court holds that the doctrine of res judicata bars claims stemming from a commercial landfill operator's efforts to win approval for a proposed landfill expansion. After a state court found that county commissioners violated the operator's substantive due process and equal protection rights but failed to grant injunctive relief permitting construction of the proposed landfill, the operator filed suit in federal court seeking money damages. The Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not apply because the operator is not pursuing federal claims alleging injury caused by the state court, and its federal claims are not inextricably intertwined with the state court judgment. Nevertheless, res judicata applies because the claims could have been litigated in the prior state proceeding.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Patrick W. Rogers
Rainey, Kizer, Butler, Reviere & Bell
105 Highland Ave. S. Jackson TN 38302
(731) 423-2414

Counsel for Defendants
Michael E. Keeney
Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell
40 S. Main St., 29th Fl., Memphis TN 38103
(901) 525-8721