The Citizens Against the Hwy 84 Landfill (CAH8L) filed a "Friend of the Court" amicus curiae brief Friday in the Waco landfill case, which, as of Oct. 27, was on appeal in the 10th Circuit Court.
The action came after The Citizens to Save Lake Waco (CSLW) previously filed a lawsuit in Judge Vicki Menard’s 414th District Court. CSLW claimed Waco's new proposed landfill along Hwy 84 violated a 1992 settlement agreement the city signed with their group and Ms. Wanda Glaze.
Judge Menard ruled in favor of CSLW, but the City of Waco appealed the decision to the 10th Court before a jury trial.
A "Friend of the Court" brief is filed when a third entity -- CAH8L in this case -- does not become a party to the case, but still wishes to express an opinion about the case with the understanding that the decision will affect a number of people outside of the two parties involved.
“We felt this was a great way for us to show the Court of Appeals that the thousands of people who live along the Hwy 84 corridor relied upon the good word of the City of Waco when it promised never to expand the existing landfill,” CAH8L President Brad Holland said in a press release. “We have a solid legal argument why the City should be held accountable, and yet we ourselves have purposely refrained from suing the City in an effort to allow dialogue and democratic means of stopping this landfill to take place.”
The amicus curiae brief was the first formal legal action taken thus far by the CAH8L.
A second amicus brief was jointly filed by the Texas Municipal League and the Texas City Attorneys’ Association as well.
The Waco landfill case has become a precedent-setting case in terms of establishing a municipality’s ability to sign agreements and claim “sovereign immunity” if sued. According to CAH8L's press release, the City of Waco claimed “sovereign immunity” and believes that, as a government entity, they are immune from lawsuits for breaching this settlement. The case will be watched across the state to gauge a municipality’s right to claim immunity from contractual obligations.
The 10th Court of Appeals will likely not hear oral arguments in the case, and the court's decision to either uphold the lower court’s ruling and proceed with a trial, or throw the case out on the basis of sovereign immunity hangs in the balance, the release stated.
A decision will be expected before the end of 2017.
View the full CAH8L amicus curiae brief here:
View the full Texas Municipal League amicus brief here: