6th Circ. Sends Back Mich. Battle Over Enviro Decree

Law360, New York (December 15, 2011, 2:45 PM EST) -- The Sixth Circuit on Thursday vacated a lower court's decision partially granting a Detroit landowner's bid to enforce an environmental consent decree against Michigan, ruling the decree is subject not to a statute of limitations but to the doctrine of laches.

A three-judge panel held that while a consent decree is a contract from an interpretation perspective, it is an equitable decree from a remedy perspective. Plaintiff Dietrich R. Bergmann should have asked for an equitable remedy, and the state of Michigan could then have offered...
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