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Motion to renew in Middlefield case denied


June 19, 2012

WAMPSFIELD, NY -- The Supreme Court of the State of New York in the County of Otsego has denied a motion to renew by the plaintiff in the Middlefield home rule case, in which the town's zoning, banning natural gas drilling, is being challenged by Cooperstown Holstein Corporation. In its first ruling, the court affirmed the right of the town to zone drilling. The denial leaves that finding standing.

The motion to renew is separate from the appeal of the original ruling, and will not affect the progress of the appeal.

The motion to renew requested that the original court review and reverse its finding that Middlefield's ordinance is legal on the grounds of some new information, not presented in the original trial, on the legislative history of New York's Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law. It consists of a 1981 memorandum related to that law.

The judge denied the motion on two grounds: that the plaintiff failed to show adequate reason why they were unable to present the information in the first trial; and on the grounds that even if they had presented it, it would not have changed the judgment.

The denial affirms the court's original decision that "municipalities are vested with the authority to either permit or prohibit oil, gas and solution mining or drilling, within their geographical jurisdiction."