Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Commonwealth Court Denies Packer Township Summary Judgment in ACRE Challenge

On July 12, 2012, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania rejected a motion for summary judgment brought by Packer Township in response to an ACRE challenge filed by the state Attorney General.  The Attorney General claimed that a Packer Township sludge ordinance was in violation of ACRE because it interfered with normal agricultural operations, and was unauthorized and preempted by state law.  Packer Township responded to the Attorney General with a motion for summary judgment asserting: (1) ACRE was unconstitutional and violated the rights of local residents to self-government; and (2) the Attorney general was prevented from bringing an action because the challenge to the local ordinance did not involve an affected complainant.  In the alternative, the Township’s motion requested partial summary judgment to have the ordinance’s ban on corporate sludging and community bill of rights removed from the Attorney General’s challenge.  Ultimately, the Court denied the Township’s motion for summary judgment or partial summary judgment. 

To read the full Commonwealth Court opinion, please click the link below:

Written by M. Sean High, Research Assistant
Penn State Law, Agricultural Law Center

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