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Memorandum of law for Norse Energy lawsuit vs Cuomo admin over fracking decision delay.

Memorandum of law for Norse Energy lawsuit vs Cuomo admin over fracking decision delay.

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Published by liz_benjamin6490
Bankrupt Norse Energy has sued Gov. Andrew Cuomo, DEC Comissioner Joe Martens and Health Commissioner Nirav Shah in hopes of compelling a decision on fracking in the Marcellus Shale.
Bankrupt Norse Energy has sued Gov. Andrew Cuomo, DEC Comissioner Joe Martens and Health Commissioner Nirav Shah in hopes of compelling a decision on fracking in the Marcellus Shale.

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Published by: liz_benjamin6490 on Dec 17, 2013
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01/27/2014

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SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF ALBANY
MARK S. WALLACH,as the Bankruptcy Trustee of Norse Energy Corp. USA,and JAMES LOBDELL,
 Petitioners-Plaintiffs
,For a Judgment pursuant to Article78 and Section 3001of the Civil Practice Law and Rules,-against-THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OFENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, JOSEPH J. MARTENS, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, DR. NIRAV R. SHAH, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, and ANDREW M. CUOMO, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of New York,
 Respondents-Defendants
.Index No.:
MEMORANDUM OF LAW INSUPPORT OF PETITIONERS-PLAINTIFFSMARK S. WALLACH AS THE BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEE OF NORSE ENERGY CORP. USAand JAMES LOBDELL’S VERIFIED PETITION AND COMPLAINT
T
HE
W
EST
F
IRM
,PLLCThomas S. West, Esq.
 Attorneys for Petitioners-Plaintiffs Mark S. Wallach as Bankruptcy Trustee of Norse Energy Corp. USAand James Lobdell 
677 Broadway, 8
th
Floor Albany, New York 12207(518) 641-0500(518) 615-1500December 17, 2013
 
i
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES..............................................................................................iiPRELIMINARY STATEMENT.........................................................................................1STATEMENT OF FACTS..................................................................................................4ARGUMENT...........................................................................................................7POINT I: MANDAMUS RELIEF IS WARRANTED, ORDERING COMPLETION OF THE SEQRA PROCESS ..................................................................................7A.The Standard For Mandamus To Compel
...................................................
7B.The Failure To Complete The SGEIS Process After More Than Five Years of Exhaustive Review Warrants Mandamus Relief.....................................91.Statutory requirements of SEQRA provide a clear legal right to mandamus relief.............................................................................102.Statutory requirements of the Energy Law and ECL Article 23  provide a clear legal right to mandamus relief ..............................173.Under Common Law principles, mandamus is the proper remedy............................................................................................18C.If There Is Any Genuine Issue of Fact As To Why Additional Time Is  Needed To Complete The SGEIS Process, A Jury Trial Is Warranted Forthwith....................................................................................................21POINT II: THE DEC’S LATE REFERRAL TO THE DOH FOR THE HEALTH REVIEW IS ARBITRARY, AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION, AND AN IMPROPER DELEGATION OF LEAD AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES.........23POINT III: GOVERNOR CUOMO’S INTERVENTION IN THE SGEIS PROCESS AND HIS ORCHESTRATION OF THE RESULTING DELAY MERIT PROHIBITION RELIEF AND OPENING HIS RECORDS TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY............................................................................................................28CONCLUSION..................................................................................................................29
 
ii
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
 Aldrich v. Pattison
,107 A.D.2d 258 (2d Dep’t 1985)...........................................................................15
 Board of Educ. of N. Colonie Schools, Newtonsville v. Levitt 
,42 A.D.2d 372 (3d Dep’t 1973)...............................................................................8
Carrera v. Reilly
, N.Y.L.J., Dec. 24, 2002 (Sup. Ct. Suffolk Cnty. 2002)...................................14, 16
 Daniel v. N.Y.S. Div. of Housing & Community Renewal 
,179 Misc. 2d 452 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty. 1998).............................................9, 10, 19
 Matter of Arnold v. Dumpson
,78 Misc. 2d 703 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty. 1974).........................................................22
 Matter of Brodsky v. N.Y.S. Dep’t of Envtl. Conservation
,1 Misc. 3d 690 (Sup. Ct. Albany Cnty. 2003)...............................................8-9, 19
 Matter of Brusco v. Braun
,84N.Y.2d 674 (1994)..............................................................................................7
 Matter of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of N.Y., Inc. v. Bd. of Estimate of City of N.Y.
72 N.Y.2d 674 (1988)............................................................................................25
 Matter of Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Town Bd. of Town of Oyster Bay
,90 A.D.3d 657 (2d Dep’t 2011)............................................................8, 10, 11, 15
 Matter of Concern, Inc. v. Pataki
,7 Misc.3d 1030(A), 2005 WL 1310478(Sup. Ct. Erie Cnty. May 25, 2005).......29
 Matter of Fehlhaber Corp. v. O’Hara
,53 A.D.2d 746 (3d Dep’t 1976)...............................................................................8
 Matter of Gabriel v. Turner 
, 50 A.D.2d 889 (2d Dep’t 1975).................................................................22, 23, 29
 Matter of Green v. Commissioner of Envtl. Conservation
,94 A.D.2d 872 (3d Dep’t 1983).............................................................................20
 Matter of Lowe’s Home Ctrs., Inc. v. Venditto,
15 Misc. 3d 1108(A), 2007 WL 852057, (Sup. Ct. Nassau Cnty. March 19, 2007).........................................................11, 15

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