SCR 4: Relating to the Alaska Supreme Court's interpretation of Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 82 and requesting that the court modify its interpretation of that rule.
00SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 4 01 Relating to the Alaska Supreme Court's interpretation of Alaska Rule of Civil 02 Procedure 82 and requesting that the court modify its interpretation of that rule. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS Alaska's future economic well-being depends on the wise use and 05 development of natural resources; and 06 WHEREAS natural resource development is dependent upon the issuance of permits 07 by state and federal agencies; and 08 WHEREAS applicants for permits must demonstrate that they have mitigated 09 environmental impacts before state and federal agencies may issue permits; and 10 WHEREAS natural resource development requires substantial financial investment by 11 developers before applications for permits may be approved; and 12 WHEREAS national and international special interest groups oppose natural resource 13 development in Alaska and elsewhere; and 14 WHEREAS some special interest groups have founded, and support financially, special
01 organizations dedicated to litigation over the issuance of permits in Alaska and elsewhere; and 02 WHEREAS litigation over the issuance of permits is a significant economic burden 03 to both the state and permit applicants; and 04 WHEREAS litigation over the issuance of permits is intended to further the goals and 05 objectives of national and international special interest groups, delay or terminate the process 06 of issuing permits by state and federal agencies, and deprive Alaskans of the opportunities that 07 wise development of natural resources will bring; and 08 WHEREAS the Alaska Supreme Court has interpreted Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 09 82 to allow special litigation organizations to recover full attorney fees if successful when all 10 other prevailing litigants may recover only partial attorney fees, and to relieve special 11 litigation organizations from paying attorney fees to prevailing parties; and 12 WHEREAS the interpretation of Alaska Civil Rule 82 that favors special litigation 13 organizations fosters litigation to prevent or delay natural resource development and 14 encourages special litigation organizations to use the economic burden of litigation to obstruct 15 natural resource development; and 16 WHEREAS national and international special interest groups opposed to natural 17 resource development in Alaska and elsewhere publicize their efforts in the courts in order to 18 raise funds; 19 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests the Alaska Supreme 20 Court to modify its interpretation of Alaska Civil Rule 82 to permit all prevailing parties to 21 recover attorney fees and costs, including those who prevail over parties represented by special 22 litigation organizations opposed to natural resource development in the state; and be it 23 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests the Alaska 24 Supreme Court to recognize that organizations specially founded to oppose natural resource 25 development in Alaska and elsewhere through litigation over permits bring actions to further 26 their private economic interests lacking general importance. 27 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Daniel A. Moore, Jr., Chief 28 Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court; to the Honorable Edmond W. Burke, Allen T. Compton, 29 Warren W. Matthews, and Jay A. Rabinowitz, associate justices of the Alaska Supreme Court.