Town of Southold v. Go Green Sanitation

Civil Practice

, New York Law Journal


Judge Arthur Spatt

Plaintiff town sought an injunction shutting down Go Green's recycling and refuse collection operations. Go Green allegedly violated Town Code provisions by operating its business without a license, mixing recyclables with household refuse, and by collecting waste not in yellow bags required by the town. After removal to district court Go Green asserted that the town revoked its permit absent notice or hearing and counterclaimed, among others things, that the town's yellow bag requirement was a "user fee" for the town's transfer station imposed even on those not using the station. Finding it lacked jurisdiction, district court remanded suit. The town's state law cause of action to enjoin local actors for violating its code did not, and would not, implicate federal law. The alleged unconstitutionality and federal illegality of the town's behavior has no place in a well-pleaded complaint seeking injunctive relief against Go Green. Nor did the parties' dispute turn on resolution of a federal question. If the court would have found that the town violated its code in revoking Go Green's permit absent hearing and that the yellow bag law was beyond the town's power under its laws, there would be no need to reach the federal questions presented in the case.

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