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Applewood Properties, LLC v. New South Properties, LLC

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20138
Nos. 161A12, (N.C., 06/13/2013)

The North Carolina Supreme Court held an injured person may not bring a civil action against a defendant under the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973 (SPCA) when the defendant has received notices of noncompliance but has not been cited for a violation of a relevant law, rule, order, or erosion and sedimentation control plan. In enacting the statute, the legislature intended to create a private cause of action only when the defendant has been cited for a SPCA violation. The legislature could have used the word "noncompliance," or another broader term to describe the conduct necessary to trigger a private cause of action, but chose not to do so. Instead, it opted to use the narrow term "violation." Accordingly, a golf course that suffered property damage following construction work on an adjacent property lacks standing to bring a civil action against the construction company under the SPCA because the construction company was never cited for a violation.