United States v. El Dorado County

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Appellate Procedure
  • Date Filed: 01-11-2013
  • Case #: 11-17134
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Wallace for the Court; Circuit Judge Bea and Judge Restani
  • Full Text Opinion

An order suspending a consent decree will not be subject to an interlocutory appeal unless the appealing party can show that it will suffer “serious, perhaps irreparable consequences.”

El Dorado County entered into a consent degree with the U.S. Forest Service regarding cleanup of a landfill. Citing errors in the decree, the County moved to modify it in district court. The district court suspended the degree and the Forest Service appealed. The County argued that the “order was not appealable because it is non-final.” The Forest Service claimed that an interlocutory appeal was proper because it would suffer “serious, perhaps irreparable consequences” if the Court did not address the suspended decree immediately. The Court rejected the Forest Service’s argument, holding that, while the district court’s order has the effect of an injunction, it only suspends, but does not cancel the decree. Therefore, the Forest Service failed to meet its burden of showing that only an immediate interlocutory appeal would save it from suffering “serious, perhaps irreparable consequences.” APPEAL DISMISSED.

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