Iowa Brakke Family Wins DNR Legal Case

March 3, 2014

Iowa Brakke Family Wins DNR Legal Case
Judge: DNR Interpretation “irrational, illogical and wholly unjustifiable.”  

DNR Case- Regarding the DNR Quarantine of Brakke’s 330 acres until December 28, 2017

On February 26, 2014, Iowa Administrative Law Judge Heather L. Palmer issued a Proposed Decision in the matter involving the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (“DNR”) Emergency Order against the Brakkes and their property in Davis County.  In the Proposed Decision, Judge Palmer held that DNR’s interpretation of the relevant Iowa statute and rules was “irrational, illogical and wholly unjustifiable.”  Judge Palmer further held that the DNR did not have the jurisdiction to issue its Emergency Order under any of the theories asserted by the DNR, and thus, reversed DNR’s Emergency Order.

On February 28, 2014, DNR filed a Notice of Appeal and Motion for Stay with the Natural Resource Commission.  The Brakkes intend to resist DNR’s appeal as well as the Motion for Stay.  It is expected that the Natural Resource Commission will issue a briefing and oral argument/hearing schedule for this matter.  Such schedule and the exact process of the appeal and Motion have not been set at this time.

Once the Natural Resource Commission reviews Judge Palmer’s Proposed Decision, it will issue a Final Decision.  If either side is unhappy with the Natural Resource Commission’s Final Decision, it can be appealed to the Iowa District Court in Polk County.

IDALS Case- Regarding Compensation

The Brakkes appealed the Proposed Decision from Judge Palmer, which refused to award compensation to the Brakkes for their deer under Iowa law, to the Secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture (“IDALS”).  The Brakkes’ appeal brief is due to the Secretary on March 3, 2014, and IDALS must file its brief on or before March 31, 2014.  The Brakkes may then file a Reply Brief on or before April 11, 2014.  The Secretary of IDALS will then issue a Final Decision after the briefing is completed.  Similar to the DNR matter, any party that is unhappy with the Secretary’s Final Decision can appeal the case to the Iowa District Court in Polk County.  


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