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June 27, 2013

Judge Denies Motion For New Trial in CAFO Case

A judge has denied the Motion for a New Trial that could have tacked on an additional $84,000 in damages ordered paid by Scotland County to Gavin Hauk in the case of a proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO).

Hauk filed the motion for a new trial, seeking additional damages beyond the $178,566 in damages awarded when Mercer County Judge Jack Peace ruled against Scotland County in a February 6, 2013 decision that ruled that commission's denial of Hauk's CAFO application "was unconstitutional, unlawful, unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, and involved an abuse of discretion."

The motion was filed by Hauk on March 28, nearly two weeks after the County had filed a Notice of Appeal.

That was a key factor in Judge Peace's decision to deny the plaintiff's Motion for a New Trial.

"It's the Courts opinion that this judgment entered February 6, 2013, and amended by consent of the parties on March 5, 2013 became final for purposes of appeal on March 8, 2013," the decision stated.

In an order dated June 18th, Peace noted "This court finds and believes that it is without jurisdiction to hear and decide Plaintiff's Motion on its merits."

Peace's decision noted that his court can now only act in a ministerial or executive manner for the case, since it is now under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Court of Appeals of Missouri.

"Using this Court's limited authority in that respect, Plaintiff's Motion is denied," Peace's court decision stated.

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