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October 7, 2013

Court of Appeals Sets Schedule for Dryden and Middlefield Appeals

As previously reported, the New York Court of Appeals has agreed to weigh in on whether local municipalities are preempted under the New York Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law from determining whether or where natural gas drilling occurs in a particular locality.  More specifically, the Court elected to consider anew the intermediate appellate decisions in Norse Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield, both of which found municipal bans on natural gas development to be a valid exercise of home rule. (See our analysis of how the Third Department, Appellate Division got it wrong at http://hblaw.com/alerts/New-York-Appellate-Court-Upholds-Drilling-Bans-05-06-2013). 

The New York Court of Appeals has now set the briefing schedule for the Dryden and Middlefieldhome rule cases.  The Appellants in the two cases, Norse Energy and Cooperstown Holstein, must file their opening briefs by October 28, 2013.  The towns’ response briefs are then due December 16, 2013 and any reply briefing by Norse Energy and Cooperstown Holstein is due January 6, 2014.  Oral argument has not yet been scheduled. 

Based on this schedule, it is estimated that that cases will be heard during mid- to late-Spring 2014, with a decision forthcoming sometime during the Summer of 2014.

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