August 4, 2005

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RC&A assists County Commissioners in obtaining approvals for new Justice Center

RC&A assists County Commissioners of Routt County, Colorado in obtaining approvals for new Justice Center The firm has helped the County Commissioners of Routt County, Colorado (home of the Steamboat Springs Ski Area) obtain approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction of a new Justice Center. Colorado U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn dismissed a lawsuit two days after it was filed.

Routt County desperately needs a new Justice Center to replace the over-crowded and unsafe conditions of its century old historic courthouse. A so-called Section 404 Permit was required from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to construct a new Justice Center on property on the west side of Steamboat Springs, Colorado because the project would impact wetlands. Local opponents had opposed issuance of the 404 Permit during the Corps’ administrative process. The process had gotten bogged down and in late 2004, the Corps actually proposed denial of the permit. Ryley Carlock & Applewhite was hired in early 2005 to help the County make its case before the federal agency.

RCA attorneys, Jim Sanderson, Roger Williams, Bill Caile and Austin Willson, helped the County clarify the compelling reasons for the new project and secured a site visit by Corps District Engineer Colonel Light. The permit was issued on May 6, 2005.

The firm also represented the County in opposing a lawsuit brought in early July, 2005 in Colorado U.S. District Court to overturn issuance of the 404 Permit. Anderson v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Routt County Board of County Commissioners, CA No. 05-CV-1243-REB-MJW. U.S. District Judge Blackburn ruled that the Plaintiff failed to demonstrate the requisite elements to obtain a Preliminary Injunction or Temporary Restraining Order seeking to halt construction of the Justice Center. He went on to find that the Plaintiff’s Complaint failed to show the necessary particularized injuries associated with the Plaintiff to prove a justiciable case or controversy and accordingly, dismissed the action.

RCA attorney Jim Sanderson said “The County is in need of a new Justice Center and hopefully Judge Blackburn’s ruling convinces the opponents that the county should be allowed to move forward with completion of the project so the courts and associated judicial employees can be re-located into a state-of-the-art complex.”
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