Andrew Rubin, Esq.

New Jersey landfill company faces civil lawsuit and grand jury

Strategic Environmental Partners, the owner of the Fenimore Landfill seized by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 2013, is embroiled in two legal battles. One is a civil case challenging the state's confiscation of its property. The other is a criminal grand jury investigation. The lawyer for Strategic Environmental Partners said subpoenas have been issued to company accountants, former company lawyers and other witnesses.

According to the lawyer, the grand jury investigation began two days after the company appealed the landfill seizure in the New Jersey Appellate Division. Suspecting that the criminal investigation was retaliation for continued civil action, the lawyer told to the U.S. magistrate that Strategic Environmental Partners would not supply requested information for the civil case's discovery because the company intended to use its Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating itself during the parallel grand jury probe. The magistrate agreed and granted a 60-day delay.

The Fenimore Landfill was originally taken over by the state when poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas emerged when the company began converting the site to a solar power plant. The company's lawyer pointed out that during the appellate hearing on the matter, the court decided that the state had exceeded its authority in taking the landfill.

When someone is dissatisfied with the outcome of civil litigation, he or she can appeal the case. To prepare for an appeals court, the person might consider seeking a lawyer familiar with civil appeals. Such a lawyer might be able to offer a new perspective and identify procedural failings in the original case that could support a new outcome for the plaintiff.

Source:, "Lawsuit Stalled as Roxbury Dump Owner Cites Fifth Amendment," Fred J. Aun, March 30, 2015

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