JLCNY Lawsuit Imminent – But Not the One You Thought

court gavelLike all things legal–and like all things NY–this story is a tad complex, so please bear with us. If you have an interest in whether, and when, NY begins shale fracking, this is an important story. For some time MDN has told you about the lawsuit that has been prepared and waiting (for funds) to move forward by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY). Their lawsuit was to focus on “takings,” the legal concept that New York State has denied landowners the sovereign right to use their own property as they see fit–to lease it for shale drilling–and by doing so the state owes them just compensation for “taking” away that value (see our story from last April: JLCNY Provides Extensive Update on NY “Takings” Lawsuit).

The JLCNY has changed legal strategies–that is the big news. Instead of pursuing the “takings” lawsuit at this point, which is a long, expensive legal process, the JLCNY has instead decided to change their legal focus to an Article 78 lawsuit. Sound familiar? Recently Norse Energy hired Albany attorney Tom West to file an Article 78 on behalf of their now bankrupt company (see Norse Energy Sues Gov. Cuomo to Force Release of Fracking Regs). By adding the voice of 70,000 landowners to a second Article 78 lawsuit, which is a legal way of forcing Gov. Cuomo, DEC Com. Martens and Health Com. Shah to perform their sworn duties, the JLCNY believes this new legal strategy will offer a more effective, quicker resolution to the long-standing moratorium (now in place over 5 1/2 years). We have a copy of the “demand” letter by the JLCNY to Martens, a press announcement and a fundraising appeal from the JLCNY below…

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