Moon v. North Idaho Farmers Ass'n, No. 29896

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtBURDICK, Justice.
Citation96 P.3d 637,140 Idaho 536
PartiesLawrence ("Bud") MOON, Jr., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Alex H. Moon, by and through her parents and guardians, Trina H. Moon, and James H. Moon, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Kaley F. Moon, by and through her parent and guardian, Laura F. Moon, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Jeanne Wolcott, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Jerry Vickers, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Bruce Charles Rothermel, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Respondents, v. NORTH IDAHO FARMERS ASSOCIATION; Wayne Meyer, William Dole, Michael Dole, Warren Dole, Jacquot Farms Enterprises, Inc., Satchwell Farms, Inc., Wallace Meyer, Terrell K. Baune, Baune Farms, Inc., Paul Deshiell, Arnold Brincke Keith Daman, Paul Daman, Denny Bros., L.L.C., Chad Denny, Matthew Drechsel, Dreschsel Brothers, Inc., Dennis Duncan, David Duncan, Chris Duncan, Joyce Duncan, Randy Duncan, David Fish, Thomas Freeburg, David Gumm, Charles A. Hahner, Hahner Farms, Inc., Larry Hansen, Joyce Hansen, Martin Hanson, Hatter Cree Farms, Inc., Don Hay, Clarence Haeg, Randy Holt, Duane Jenneskens, Cindy Janneskens, Dale R. Johnson, Ted Lacy, Phillip Lampert, Nick Lawson, Casey Lawson, Allen Lewis, Maple Leaf Farm, Inc., Herbert W. Millhorn, Millhorn Farms, Inc., Bruce Mills, Richard Morrison, Elmer Ness, Chris R. Ram, Michael Roecks, Rogada Farms, Inc., John Schultz, Karl Schultz, Tammy Schultz, Ron Tee, Allen Thoma, Windy Hill Farm, Inc., Todd F. Wright, Gary Wrigh, Wrights, Inc.; Wade Mc Lean, Doug Bruce, Erling Place, Michael Schlepp, Gary French; Lampert Farm Ranch, Inc., Earl Clausen, Michael La Shaw, Catherine Morris, Terry Nichols, Eugene Towne, Jeff Bloomsburg, Brian La Shaw, Joe Sievers; Bergen Bothman, Defendants-Appellants, and Schlepp Ranch, Clausen Farms, Inc., Larry Heaton, David Lampert, Eric Larson and the State of Idaho, Defendants. Lampert Farm & Ranch, Inc., Earl Clausen, Michael La Shaw, Catherine Morris, Terry Nichols, Eugene Towne, Jeff Bloomsburg, Brian La Shaw, Larry Heaton and Joe Sievers; G. Wade Mc Lean, Doug Bruce, Michael Schlepp, Gary French and Erling Place, Third-Party Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Tim Freeburg and Michael Freeburg; Henry Bentz, Chester Franz, d/b/a Double F. Ranch, Michael Hemken, Hemken Farms, Inc., Terry Jacklin and Walter Meyer, Third-Party Defendants-Appellants, and Sherry Claus, as personal representative of the Estate of John Carter, Gary Johnson, d/b/a D & G Farms, Daman Brothers Partnership, Gary Dreshel, d/b/a Reshel Brothers, Jim Fischer, Ford Gumm, Alvin Haas, Haas Farms General Partnership, Francis Hughes, J.R. Simplot Company, d/b/a Jacklin Seed-Simplot, Rodney Jacot, Ted Lacy, d/b/a Lacy Farm Enterprises, Thelma Mc Clellan, as personal representative of the Estate of L.E. Mc Clellan, William Mellick, Walter Meyer, Glen Miles, Morrfarms, Inc., Heaton Farms Partnership, KSH Partnership, Gerald Holt d/b/a Rockcreek, Third-Party Defendants.
Decision Date02 August 2004
Docket Number No. 29896, No. 29899, No. 29900, No. 29897, No. 29901., No. 29898

96 P.3d 637
140 Idaho 536

Lawrence ("Bud") MOON, Jr., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Alex H. Moon, by and through her parents and guardians, Trina H. Moon, and James H. Moon, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Kaley F. Moon, by and through her parent and guardian, Laura F. Moon, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Jeanne Wolcott, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Jerry Vickers, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Bruce Charles Rothermel, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Respondents,
v.
NORTH IDAHO FARMERS ASSOCIATION; Wayne Meyer, William Dole, Michael Dole, Warren Dole, Jacquot Farms Enterprises, Inc., Satchwell Farms, Inc., Wallace Meyer, Terrell K. Baune, Baune Farms, Inc., Paul Deshiell, Arnold Brincke Keith Daman, Paul Daman, Denny Bros., L.L.C., Chad Denny, Matthew Drechsel, Dreschsel Brothers, Inc., Dennis Duncan, David Duncan, Chris Duncan, Joyce Duncan, Randy Duncan, David Fish, Thomas Freeburg, David Gumm, Charles A. Hahner, Hahner Farms, Inc., Larry Hansen, Joyce Hansen, Martin Hanson, Hatter Cree Farms, Inc., Don Hay, Clarence Haeg, Randy Holt, Duane Jenneskens, Cindy Janneskens, Dale R. Johnson, Ted Lacy, Phillip Lampert, Nick Lawson, Casey Lawson, Allen Lewis, Maple Leaf Farm, Inc., Herbert W. Millhorn, Millhorn Farms, Inc., Bruce Mills, Richard Morrison, Elmer Ness, Chris R. Ram, Michael Roecks, Rogada Farms, Inc., John Schultz, Karl Schultz, Tammy Schultz, Ron Tee, Allen Thoma, Windy Hill Farm, Inc., Todd F. Wright, Gary Wrigh, Wrights, Inc.; Wade Mc Lean, Doug Bruce, Erling Place, Michael Schlepp, Gary French; Lampert Farm Ranch, Inc., Earl Clausen, Michael La Shaw, Catherine Morris, Terry Nichols, Eugene Towne, Jeff Bloomsburg, Brian La Shaw, Joe Sievers; Bergen Bothman, Defendants-Appellants, and
Schlepp Ranch, Clausen Farms, Inc., Larry Heaton, David Lampert, Eric Larson and the State of Idaho, Defendants.
Lampert Farm & Ranch, Inc., Earl Clausen, Michael La Shaw, Catherine Morris, Terry Nichols, Eugene Towne, Jeff Bloomsburg, Brian La Shaw, Larry Heaton and Joe Sievers; G. Wade Mc Lean, Doug Bruce, Michael Schlepp, Gary French and Erling Place, Third-Party Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
Tim Freeburg and Michael Freeburg; Henry Bentz, Chester Franz, d/b/a Double F. Ranch, Michael Hemken, Hemken Farms, Inc., Terry Jacklin and Walter Meyer, Third-Party Defendants-Appellants, and
Sherry Claus, as personal representative of the Estate of John Carter, Gary Johnson, d/b/a D & G Farms, Daman Brothers Partnership, Gary Dreshel, d/b/a Reshel Brothers, Jim Fischer, Ford Gumm, Alvin Haas, Haas Farms General Partnership, Francis Hughes, J.R. Simplot Company, d/b/a Jacklin Seed-Simplot, Rodney Jacot, Ted Lacy, d/b/a Lacy Farm Enterprises, Thelma Mc Clellan, as personal representative of the Estate of L.E. Mc Clellan, William Mellick, Walter Meyer, Glen Miles, Morrfarms, Inc., Heaton Farms Partnership, KSH Partnership, Gerald Holt d/b/a Rockcreek, Third-Party Defendants

Nos. 29896, 29897, 29898, 29899, 29900, 29901.

Supreme Court of Idaho, Boise, May 2004 Term.

August 2, 2004.


96 P.3d 639
Hall, Farley, Oberrecht & Blanton; and Batt & Fisher, Boise, for appellants North Idaho Farmers

96 P.3d 640
Paine, Hamblen, Coffin, Brooke & Miller, LLP, Coeur d'Alene and Baise & Miller, Washington, D.C., for appellants Meyer through Wrights, Inc. Peter C. Erbland argued for all appellants

Clements, Brown & McNichols, Lewiston, for appellants McLean through French.

Michael E. Ramsden and Jedediah James Whitaker, Coeur d'Alene, for appellants Lampert Farm through Sievers.

Brady Law, Chartered, Boise, for appellants Bothman, Bentz and Jacklin.

D. Samuel Eismann, Coeur d'Alene, for Freeburg through Hemken Farm.

Gordon Law Offices, Boise and Hagens, Berman LLP, Seattle, WA. for respondents. Steve W. Berman argued.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Clive D. Strong, Deputy Attorney General; Clay Riggs Smith, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for amicus curiae, State of Idaho. Clay Riggs Smith argued.

BURDICK, Justice.

The defendant-seed growers are appealing the district court's decision holding the amendments to I.C. § 22-4801 et seq., which were passed by the 2003 Legislature, unconstitutional. This Court granted a permissive appeal of this interlocutory order. For the reasons outlined below, we hold the recently enacted amendments to be in conformity with the Idaho and United States Constitutions.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The plaintiffs are individuals claiming sensitivity to grass smoke, who filed an action against various seed growers in north Idaho who traditionally burn the post-harvest straw and stubble in their fields as part of their farming activities. The plaintiffs' complaint, filed in June of 2002, asserted among others, claims of nuisance and trespass. The plaintiffs filed for a preliminary injunction in July of 2002, seeking to enjoin the defendant-seed growers from burning their Kentucky bluegrass fields. The district court, in August 2002 took testimony from the plaintiffs' medical experts, State officials from Washington and Idaho, class members and grass farmers. The district court issued findings of fact and conclusions of law and ultimately granted the preliminary injunction to abate the injury caused by the field burning of the grass farmers and required the posting of a bond.

In September of 2002, however, the Idaho Supreme Court granted the defendant-seed growers' request for a writ of prohibition, after concluding that the injunction exceeded in some respects the district court's jurisdiction. The Court enjoined the district court from enforcing the terms of the preliminary injunction against the grass burners.

The plaintiffs sought and were granted certification as a class1 and were granted leave to amend their complaint to assert a punitive damage claim. Thereafter, in the early spring of 2003, several bills related to field burning were under consideration by the Idaho legislature. The district court held a hearing on April 11, 2003, where the impact of the various bills was discussed with respect to the plaintiffs' property and their statutory rights to abate the nuisance and/or enjoin the trespass caused by the grass burners' smoke.

In April 2003, after Governor Kempthorne signed House Bill 391 into law, the plaintiffs filed a motion to the district court to declare the law unconstitutional as applied to the facts of this case. HB 391, which was passed as an emergency measure, amended the Smoke Management and Crop Residue Disposal Act of 1999, I.C. § 22-4801 et seq., and effectively extinguished liability for all North Idaho grass farmers that burn in compliance with its provisions. Of particular significance, HB 391 amended portions of I.C. § 22-4803 and added a new statute, I.C. § 22-4803A.

The district court heard the motion of the plaintiffs, arguing the unconstitutionality of I.C. § 22-4803A(6), which reads as follows:

96 P.3d 641
(6) Crop residue burning conducted in accordance with section 22-4803 Idaho Code, shall not constitute a private or public nuisance or constitute trespass. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to create a private cause of action against any person who engages in or allows crop residue burning of a field or fields required to be registered pursuant to section 22-4803(3) Idaho Code, provided such activities are conducted in accordance with chapter 49, title 22, Idaho Code, and rules promulgated thereunder.

On June 4, 2003, the district court issued an order holding HB 391 unconstitutional. The district court held: (1) that HB 391 effects an unconstitutional taking of property without prior compensation or due process; (2) that HB 391 imposes a limitation that is not in the interests of the common welfare and thus violative of Article I, § 1 of the Idaho Constitution; and (3) that HB 391 is a "local or special law" in violation of Article III, § 19 of the Idaho Constitution. The district court concluded that for two months of the year, August and September, "the burning invades and destroys two of the three fundamental aspects of the plaintiffs' property rights ... possession and use." The district court also ruled that by affirmatively granting the grass burners the right to maintain the nuisance on the plaintiffs' property, the State imposed an easement on the plaintiffs' land.

The district judge who ruled on the constitutionality of the statutory amendments, particularly I.C. § 22-4806, was disqualified by order dated June 12, 2003. By order of the Idaho Supreme Court dated June 28, 2003, the Honorable District Judge W.H. Woodland was appointed to take over the case. Shortly thereafter, the district court granted the defendants' motion to stay the proceedings until the Supreme Court determines the motion for a permissive appeal of the interlocutory order pursuant to I.A.R. 12(a). The Idaho Supreme Court granted the motion for permissive appeal on July 22, 2003.

ISSUES ON APPEAL

1. Did the district court err in finding HB 391 is an unconstitutional "taking" of private property under both the Idaho and United States Constitutions?

2. Did the district court err in finding that HB 391 is a violation of Article I, § 1 of the Idaho Constitution, because the "limitation" imposed by the amendments were not in the "interests of the common welfare"?

3. Did the district court err in finding the HB 391 is a "local or special law" in violation of Article III, § 19 of the Idaho Constitution?

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The constitutionality of a statute is a question of law over which this Court exercises free review. State v. Cobb, 132 Idaho 195, 197, 969 P.2d 244, 246 (1998); Fremont-Madison Irr. Dist. and Mitigation Group v. Idaho Ground Water Appropriators, Inc., 129 Idaho 454, 926 P.2d 1301 (1996). The party challenging a statute on constitutional grounds...

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33 practice notes
  • Garrison v. New Fashion Pork LLP, 21-0652
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2022
    ...in any manner." Id. at 233 & n.2 (collecting cases rejecting constitutional challenges); see, e.g., Moon v. N. Idaho Farmers Ass'n, 96 P.3d 637, 644-45 (Idaho 2004) (rejecting Bormann's easement theory and declining "to hold that the nuisance immunity provision [in Idaho's right-to-farm law......
  • Don v. North Latah County Highway Dist., No. 36825.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 21, 2011
    ...Falls Res. Dist. No. 2 v. Idaho Dep't of Water Res., 143 Idaho 862, 869, 154 P.3d 433, 440 (2007) (citing Moon v. N. Idaho Farmers Ass'n, 140 Idaho 536, 540, 96 P.3d 637, 641 (2004)). Factors to be considered in determining the adequacy of process are the importance of the private interest ......
  • Luce v. Marble, No. 30691.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 30, 2005
    ...law, trespass is the "wrongful interference with the right of exclusive possession of real property." Moon v. N. Idaho Farmers Ass'n, 140 Idaho 536, 541, 96 P.3d 637, 642 (2004). Since Luce has not established her right to exclusive possession of Parcel A, she cannot recover for trespass an......
  • Halvorson v. N. Latah Cnty. Highway Dist., 36825.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 2, 2011
    ...Falls Res. Dist. No. 2 v. Idaho Dep't of Water Res., 143 Idaho 862, 869, 154 P.3d 433, 440 (2007) (citing Moon v. N. Idaho Farmers Ass'n, 140 Idaho 536, 540, 96 P.3d 637, 641 (2004) ).Factors to be considered in determining the adequacy of process are the importance of the private interest ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • Don v. North Latah County Highway Dist., No. 36825.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 21, 2011
    ...Falls Res. Dist. No. 2 v. Idaho Dep't of Water Res., 143 Idaho 862, 869, 154 P.3d 433, 440 (2007) (citing Moon v. N. Idaho Farmers Ass'n, 140 Idaho 536, 540, 96 P.3d 637, 641 (2004)). Factors to be considered in determining the adequacy of process are the importance of the private interest ......
  • Gomersall v. St. Luke's Reg'l Med. Ctr., Ltd., Docket No. 47664
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 19, 2021
    ...that the statute is unconstitutional and ‘must overcome a strong presumption of validity.’ " Moon v. N. Idaho Farmers Ass'n , 140 Idaho 536, 540, 96 P.3d 637, 641 (2004) (quoting Olsen , 117 Idaho at 709, 791 P.2d at 1288 ). "The judicial power to declare legislative action invali......
  • Radford v. Van Orden, Docket No. 47364
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 19, 2021
    ...‘nuisance’ applies to the wrongful interference with the use and enjoyment of real property." Moon v. N. Idaho Farmers Ass'n , 140 Idaho 536, 541, 96 P.3d 637, 642 (2004) (citing Mock v. Potlatch Corp. , 786 F.Supp. 1545 (D. Idaho 1992) ). Thus, the district court properly relied on Id......
  • Luce v. Marble, No. 30691.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 30, 2005
    ...is the "wrongful interference with the right of exclusive possession of real property." Moon v. N. Idaho Farmers Ass'n, 140 Idaho 536, 541, 96 P.3d 637, 642 (2004). Since Luce has not established her right to exclusive possession of Parcel A, she cannot recover for trespass and da......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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