Hallstrom v. Tillamook County

PETITIONER: Hallstrom
RESPONDENT: Tillamook County
LOCATION: Residence of Cruzan

DOCKET NO.: 88-42
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 493 US 20 (1989)
ARGUED: Oct 04, 1989
DECIDED: Nov 07, 1989

ADVOCATES:
Brian J. Martin - as amicus curiae supporting the Respondent
I. Franklin Hunsaker - on behalf of the Respondent
Kim T. Buckley - on behalf of the Petitioners

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Hallstrom v. Tillamook County

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 04, 1989 in Hallstrom v. Tillamook County

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - November 07, 1989 in Hallstrom v. Tillamook County

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinion of the Court in No. 88-42, Hallstrom versus Tillamook County will be announced by Justice O’Connor.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

This case comes to us on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

It requires the Court to determine whether compliance with the notice provision of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 is a mandatory precondition to commencing suit against an alleged violator of the regulations of that Act.

Section 6972(b) of that Act prohibits the commencement of such an action until 60 days after the parties have notified the appropriate state and federal agencies and the alleged violator of their intention to bring suit.

In an opinion filed today, we hold that compliance with the notice and 60-day delay requirement mandated by the Act is a mandatory, not an optional, prerequisite to suit under the Act.

Nothing in the language, structure, or legislative history of the statute permits us to disregard its plain meaning or to allow equitable modification of the statutory requirement.

Accordingly, if a party fails to comply with the 60-day notice requirement, the District Court must dismiss the action as barred by the terms of the statute.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is accordingly affirmed.

Justice Marshall has filed a dissenting opinion with which Justice Brennan joins.