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Breaking News: Judge Issues CAFO Injunction

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10/20/2008 3:00:00 PM

THIS JUST IN: Judge orders megadairy injunction

At press time, Judge Kevin Ward granted the preliminary injunction sought by Helping Others Maintain Environmental Standards (HOMES) against construction of Tradition Dairy, called by supporters and opponents alike a megadairy.


"Groundwater contamination from Defendant (owner AJ) Bos' proposed livestock management facility would constitute a substantial future harm and the proposed facility presents a high probability of creating a public and private nuisance by creating an environment injurious to the health and welfare of surrounding neighbors and the public at large," Ward wrote in the Monday, Oct. 20 order.


The order effectively ends construction at the Tradition South site, a mile outside of Nora.


The next status hearing is set for Thursday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. at the Jo Daviess County Courthouse. For more on Ward's decision, visit galenagazette.com later in the week.

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We can only hope.



Order restrains owner from Jo Daviess properties

Bekah Porter


GALENA, Ill. — A Jo Daviess County judge has ruled against the large-scale dairy near Nora.

Judge Kevin Ward issued a preliminary injunction order against California businessman A.J. Bos. The order restrains Bos and his employees from the properties known as Tradition North and Tradition South. It also demands that Bos not house more than 199 mature dairy cows on site, as well as banning him from using any of the ground waste storage structures.

The ruling follows eight court dates that included testimony from more than half a dozen witnesses. Hearings began in July.

Efforts for the injunction were led by the non-profit environmental group, Helping Others Maintain Environmental Standards (HOMES.) Officials with the organization have previously said they would use the injunction as an opportunity to permanently ban construction on the site.

Turn to tomorrow’s Telegraph Herald for more information.


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Actually, the wording has become more clear today.

The construction will continue, but they cannot operate it as a CAFO.


Tue Oct 21, 2008, 10:18 PM CDT

Nora, Ill. -


Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Judge Kevin J. Ward issued a preliminary injunction on Oct. 20, 2008, in Jo Daviess County restraining and enjoining Traditions Dairy owner A.J. Bos from operating his dairy, stabling or confining more than 199 animals or dairy cows, and operating any of the waste storage structure.



HOMES Pleased with Decision



The grass roots organization Helping Others Maintain Environmental Standards led the court battle for the injunction.



HOMES spokesperson Matthew Alschuler said that in granting the injunction the judge clearly stated that the plaintiff’s witnesses were credible in that they demonstrated the facility would present both a private and public nuisance to the health of the people who live near the facility.

Alschuler noted that the injunction does not require Bos to stop construction and at the same time it does not require those persons named as plaintiffs in the suit to post an injunction bond.



“The judge said during the hearings that technically speaking, it is not the building of the facility that causes the nuisance, it is the operation of the facility that causes the nuisance,” Alschuler explained. “He (Bos) could essentially do a large traditional dairy. He could have 199 cows. He has 1,400 acres, that’s plenty of land if he wanted the cows to run around. He has this nice fancy milking parlor. He just can’t confine the animals and he cannot concentrate the manure.”

Alschuler said that attorneys from both sides will meet with Ward on Thursday to set a date for a bond hearing.



On the one hand, the defendant wants a bond amounting to millions of dollars,” he said. “On the other hand, there are a number of cases similar to this where groups like ours have sued and the judge has not required any bond. We have no idea what is going to happen.”



Alschuler said his organization is pleased with the court’s decision.



“As part of his ruling the judge does say that he feels we made a strong case that we could win in court,” he said. “That’s why he granted it. If he thought it was a weak case he would not have granted the injunction. Therefore, for this to go on in court we probably have a strong likelihood of getting a permanent injunction.”



Alschuler said HOMES would continue raising money, staging public informational forums and working to promote their three advisory referenda slated to appear on the ballot in November.



“Our propositions basically say that the people here don’t want these types of things forced down our throat,” he said.



Bos to Continue Construction



Livestock Business Developer Nic Anderson said by allowing Bos to continue to build and not requiring HOMES to do anything about a bond simply maintains the status quo.



“It’s not a great thing, but it doesn’t stop A.J. from continuing his building process,” Anderson said. “He is not a nuisance from that point.”



Anderson said the attorneys will meet with Ward on Oct. 23, 2008, to discuss the circumstances of his injunction.



“They will also have to talk about bonds,” he said. “A.J. talked about having some dry cows in by mid-December and this will probably impede on that so they will talk about some type of bond until the court process gets through.”



He said that when a court issues a preliminary injunction enjoining someone from doing something on his or her property the complainants have to post a bond that would be proportional to the losses that the owner of the property would incur while he or she sits and waits for the resolution of the case.



He added that if the judge orders a bond and either side cannot meet the order, the court would vacate the injunction.



Anderson said the court would now proceed through a fact finding process to determine whether the facility is a nuisance.



“When we get into the actual court process we will have an opportunity to do a little more deposition and provide real facts,” he said. “During the preliminary stuff we weren’t able to do depositions on witnesses and find out who they are, what their criteria are, and what their diligence was; it was really just some opinions out there and based on that, he (Ward) thought there was some merit and it should be listened to.”



IDOA Permits Not Affected



Illinois Department of Agriculture, Environmental Programs Bureau Chief Warren Goetsch said Ward’s decision did not mention the IDOA and has no effect on their May, 2008 decision granting Bos the necessary permits to begin construction.



“This was all a hearing about a preliminary injunction to halt construction,” Goetsch said.



The next hearing is set for Thursday at the Jo Daviess County Courthouse.


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Any word on what happened in court on Thursday?

I haven't seen the Apple River, but will be up there on Halloween weekend. I'm supposed to play golf, but depending upon weather, I might want to find a place to fish, or at least view the area in controversy.

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