Federal Judge Restores Measure 37 Claims

From Oregonians In Action,

As some of you already know, U.S. District Judge Owen Panner ruled yesterday that Jackson County’s approval of Measure 37 waivers created a contract between the property owner making the Measure 37 claim and the County, and that the passage of Measure 49 breached (violated) that contract.

Judge Panner also held that Jackson County’s decision to approve a Measure
37 waiver was a quasi-judicial decision, and the passage of Measure 49 could not interfere with that decision. To do so, according to Judge Panner, would violate the separation of powers between the judicial and legislative branches.

Although Jackson County was the only defendant in this lawsuit and thus technically is the only party bound by Judge Panner’s decision, the ruling, if upheld, should apply equally to the state and every other local
jurisdiction in Oregon. This will likely require a subsequent lawsuit
against the State of Oregon.

We are currently preparing a memorandum addressing the legal issues that Judge Panner’s ruling raises, and how we believe it applies to each of you with M37 claims. As soon as that memorandum is completed, we will forward it to each of you, and put it on our website.

In the meantime, congratulations to Bob Robertson and Jack Swift, the lawyers who argued and won the case. This was a great victory that could have very significant ramifications for Measure 37 claimants.

Dave Hunnicutt
Oregonians In Action