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Judge cancels order to summon officials - Democrat Gazette

06 Jan 2019 5:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Arkansasonline


Judge cancels order to summon officials


Arkansas environmental regulators won't have to appear in court Wednesday as scheduled to argue why they shouldn't be held in contempt of a Newton County Circuit Court order.

Circuit Judge John Putman quashed his order for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to "show cause" why it should not be held in contempt, stating that department Director Becky Keogh and Caleb Osborne, the associate director over the Office of Water Quality, were never served their court summons.

C&H Hog Farms is appealing an Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission decision that remanded the Environmental Quality Department's denial of a new permit for the farm back to the department.

Attorneys for C&H had asked Putman to order the department to show cause. They said the department knew about a stay that Putman had ordered on the commission's decision to remand the permit back to the department. The department was subsequently in contempt of court when it issued a second permit denial, the attorneys contended.

But C&H attorneys never served Keogh or Osborne with court summons or notice of court proceedings after Putman's order to show cause.

In his Wednesday order quashing the show-cause hearing, Putman said parties did not have adequate time to respond before next Wednesday's hearing. He wrote that attorneys could request another order "after the plaintiff determines and obtains the appropriate legal process regarding its motion to show cause."

Later that day, C&H attorneys filed affidavits of service that confirm the delivery of documents. In filings, C&H attorneys stated they would later serve Keogh and Osborne with court summons.

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