Thursday, July 24, 2014

Judge Releases Written Decision Explaining Her Dismissal of Pagat Lawsuit as "Moot"

Guam News - Guam News

Guam - Hawaii District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi has released her written opinion explaining her decision to dismiss the Pagat lawsuit as moot.W


Without ever hearing oral arguments in the case, on December 29th of last year Judge Kobayashi dismissed the lawsuit as moot. This past Monday Judge Kobayashi filed her written opinion explaining why.

In her written decision, she acknowledged that "the crux" of  the lawsuit  was whether or not the Record of Decision was a final decision on the placement of the firing range complex. But the Judge did NOT decide that question.

READ Judge Koboyashi's written decision explaining her dismissal of the Pagat lawsuit HERE

Instead, she first reached the conclusion that the lawsuit had become moot, because the Navy decided to conduct a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

She writes: "The Court FINDS that the Navy's recent decision to undertake the supplemental EIS process completely and irrevocably eradicated the effects of the Original Record of Decision because the completion of the supplemental EIS will also require issuance of a new or amended record of decision."

READ JGPO Director Ludivichi's November notice to the Court that a Supplemental EIS would be conducted

And the Judge concludes: " ... this Court's jurisdiction has abated because the case has become moot."

In a footnote, Judge Kobayashi "emphasizes that it makes no findings or conclusions on the issue whether the original Record of Decision constituted a final agency action on the selection of Route 15/Pagat area for the firing range complex."

The plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit against the Navy were the National Historic Trust, the Guam Historic Trust, "We Are Guahan", and others who sought to stop the Navy from carrying out its proposed plans to build a firing range complex in the culturally sensitive Pagat area.

The Navy sought dismissal of the suit arguing that their 2010 Record of Decision [ROD] had not reached a final decision on placing the firing range complex in the Pagat area.