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Tulare+Laketlw - Page 1 LEXSEE 49 FED CL 313 TULARE LAKE...

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Page 1 LEXSEE 49 FED. CL. 313 TULARE LAKE BASIN WATER STORAGE DISTRICT, ET AL., Plaintiff, v. THE UNITED STATES, Defendant. No. 98-101 L UNITED STATES COURT OF FEDERAL CLAIMS 49 Fed. Cl. 313 ; 2001 U.S. Claims LEXIS 72 ; 52 ERC (BNA) 1658 ; 31 ELR 20648 April 30, 2001, Filed SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: Judgment entered by Tu- lare Lake Basin Water Storage Dist. v. United States, 2003 U.S. Claims LEXIS 391 (Fed. Cl., Dec. 31, 2003) DISPOSITION: [**1] Plaintiffs' motion for sum- mary judgment granted and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment denied. HEADNOTES Fifth Amendment Taking: Just Compensation -- Ac- tions of the National Marine Fisheries Service and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to the Endangered Species Act imposing restrictions on plaintiffs' contractual rights to the use of water are equi- valent to a physical invasion of property for which com- pensation is owed under the Fifth Amendment . COUNSEL: Roger J. Marzulla, Nancie G. Marzulla, and Andrew R. Stephens, Marzulla & Marzulla, Washington, D.C., for plaintiffs. * * Briefs of Amici Curiae in support of plaintiffs' position were filed for State Water Contractors by Daniel J. O'Hanlon, Beveridge & Diamond LLP, San Francisco, California and for Pacific Legal Foundation by James S. Burling, Robin L. Rivett, and David E. Haddock, Sacramento, California. Deputy Chief James S. Brookshire, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for defendant. Sam Rauch, Wildlife Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., Dana Jacobsen, Office of the Solicitor, Department of Interior, Sacramento, California, and Dawn R. An- drews, Office of General Counsel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, Long Beach, California, of counsel. ** ** Briefs of Amici Curiae in support of defend- ant's position were filed for the Natural Heritage Institute; National Wildlife Federation; the Sierra Club; Defenders of Wildlife; the Planning and Conservation League; California Trout; and Wa- ter Watch of Oregon by Gregory A. Thomas, Natural Heritage Institute, San Francisco, Califor- nia, and Tara L. Mueller, Environmental Law Foundation, Oakland, California. Of counsel on the briefs were Professors Peter Byrne, Geor- getown University Law Center; Joseph Sax, Uni- versity of California at Berkeley, School of Law; Brian Gray, Hastings College of the Law; Harris- on P. Dunning, University of California at Davis, School of Law; Antonio Rossman, University of California at Berkeley, School of Law; and John D. Echeverria, Environmental Policy Project, Georgetown University Law Center. [**2] JUDGES: WIESE, Judge. OPINION BY: WIESE OPINION [*314] WIESE, Judge. Plaintiffs are California water users who claim that their contractually-conferred right to the use of water was taken from them when the federal government im- posed water use restrictions under the Endangered Spe- cies Act. They now seek Fifth Amendment compensation
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Page 2 for their alleged loss. The case is before the court on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment as to liabil- ity. The issues have been fully briefed, and oral argument was heard on March 20, 2001. We now rule in favor of
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