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White v. Vogt

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-14-2013
Case #: A145286
Hadlock, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Brewer, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A145286.pdf

Civil Procedure: A court does not have writ of review jurisdiction over decisions that are purely ministerial in nature.

White appealed a trial court's decision that his sole remedy against the City was a writ of review. Vogt, White's neighbor, had a portion of his land excavated in a landslide hazard area. In order to excavate the land, Vogt had to obtain the necessary permit from the City. Issuance of the permits was decided by following assessment criteria created under the applicable statute. The City issued the permits for excavation without requiring any additional geological assessments because it assessed the area as having low landslide susceptibility. The trial court held the City's decision to issue the permits without further geological assessments was judicial or quasi-judicial in nature. Consequently, White's only form of challenge to the City's decision was a writ of review. On appeal, White argued the City's decision was ministerial in nature and he was, therefore, entitled to other avenues to challenge the City's decision. The Court held that White did not clearly make the argument that the City's decision was ministerial in nature. As a result, it could not be considered by the Court on appeal. Affirmed.