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Duarte Opens Two New Legal Assaults In Federal Court Battle With Corps of Engineers

Late breaking this morning: American Farm Bureau jumps into Duarte fight


John Duarte has opened two new legal assaults against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CoE) which is demanding more than $2.8 million in fines and damages related to his plowing of a Tehama County, California field in order to plant wheat.

Motion to dismiss CoE legal action

On July 23, Duarte’s attorney’s filed a motion to dismiss the Corps of Engineers legal action against Duarte and Duarte Nursery. The CoE contends that the plowing of the field is falls under the same illegal action as the discharge of polluted dredge material into navigable waters which are protected by the Clean Water Act.


Duarte’s motion to dismiss, however, contends that governing federal statutes specifically limit  CoE’s authority to take legal action only against violations of discharge permits issued by the CoE. The motion insists that only the EPA can take legal action against un-permitted discharges.


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Writ of Mandamus Filed For Delay of Penalty Phase

Duarte petitioned Federal District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller for a short delay in the penalty phase in order to wait for an upcoming decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case in Montana which could have a pivotal effect on Duarte’s case.


Mueller denied that request.


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Controversial “Substantial Nexus” Concept At Issue

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Court Documents Available for premium Wine Executive News Subscribers

  • Request for Writ of Mandamus
  • Request to dismiss CoE Legal Action
  • EPA Exhibit to Request to dismiss CoE Legal Action

Previous Wine Industry Insight Coverage

Duarte vs U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Clean Water Act & WOTUS Issues



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