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Hawaii judge denies DOD motion

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Hawaii District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi has issued her written order denying the Department of Defense's motion to remand and stay a civil suit filed against them by the Guam Preservation Trust, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and We Are Guahan. In the 16-page decision, the judge spells out her reasons for denying the DoD's request. 

The feds wanted the case to be stayed for 90 days to allow for additional review of the siting for live fire training range complex. The plaintiffs, however, only agreed on the conditions that public involvement would be allowed and they could file briefs before any ground disturbing activities took place along the Route 15 Pagat area. The court, in reviewing the request, made it clear at this time that she will not make any findings regarding the merits of the case.

Instead, the court took issue with the DoDs unwillingness to agree to public participation.  Kobayashi wrote, "In the court's view, defendants want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to conduct the reconsideration process and they want to stay plaintiffs' litigation of this case while they do so, but they only want to allow plaintiffs a very limited role in the reconsideration process." The judge adding that DoD can conduct their internal reconsideration process anyway and seek a new motion for remand and stay if they decide to forgo putting the training range in Pagat and identify another site.

The DoD must file a motion to dismiss no later than July 29th. Should they seek an extension of time to file that motion, they must do so by July 8.

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