Justia Maryland Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Agriculture Law
This case concerned a request for certain public records for specific nutrient management plans (NMP) of various private farming operations. Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc. (WKA) submitted the requests, without success, to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act (PIA). Other parties became involved in the ensuing litigation, including the Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (MFB). In 2009, the circuit court issued an order (2009 Order) in which it granted the MDA’s cross-motion for summary judgment and denied MFB’s motion for summary judgment. No further litigation activity was reflected on the docket. In 2010, the MDA received another PIA request regarding specific NMP information, this time from a co-plaintiff in the WKA action. In the resulting litigation, the circuit court issued an order (2011 Order) granting MFB’s motion for clarification and declaring how the 2010 PIA request was controlled by the 2009 decision. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that the 2011 Order, like the 2009 Order, was not a final judgment, as it did not resolve all the claims before the trial court, and none of the immediate appealability exceptions to the requirement of a final judgment were applicable. View "Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc. v. Dep’t of Agriculture" on Justia Law