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Judge Newman’s recommendations on the Cruise ship law suit
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Warwick Jones

The ruling by Judge Newman, appointed by the South Carolina Supreme Court to advise it on the merit of dismissing the suit brought by the Coastal Conservation League and others, is attached. It can be seen by pressing Download file.

It is a lengthy document of 28 pages. We think that viewers can skip the first 22 pages. These relate to preamble and the issues that Judge Newman thinks should be dismissed. The pages that follow relate to the only issues that the judge thought the Supreme Court should hear, and we think the least important.

In their submission, the petitioners (Carnival, SPA and the City) organized their arguments for dismissal into 10 categories. (See pages 3 and 4) In effect, Judge Newman supported the dismissal of all except those in two of the categories, Public and Private Nuisance. These are both large categories and encompass “water and air pollution, soot, view obstruction, traffic congestion, road closures and large crowds”. We confess to some confusion here as the Judge supported the petitioners in another category, stating they were in compliance with the SC Pollution Control Act.

Where does the issue now go? Logically, the Supreme Court will hear the arguments for and against Public and Private Nuisance and then decide over these issues. But Judge Newman’s ruling is only a recommendation. The Supreme Court could still consider all or none of the issues.

We would also note that Judge Newman’s recommendation in relation to Private and Public Nuisance does not mean there is a weight of evidence in support. He says the “claim sufficiently allege facts that may if proven, entitle respondents to relief” And elsewhere, “these allegations sufficiently establish the elements of a private nuisance claim and dismissal…. would be improper”.

Note that his opinion is based on the weight of allegations, which remain to be proven.

We think cruise ships are here to stay!

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